|An evo version of the Le Mans winning Porsche 919 Hybrid established a new track record at Spa-Francorchamps. Porsche works driver Neel Jani lapped the 7.004 kilometer long Belgian Grand Prix Circuit in the Ardennes mountains in 1:41.770 minutes.|
Jani proved that the 919 Hybrid racer can beat Formula 1 car, as the Swiss driver’s car was 0.783 seconds faster than Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid. The 919 Hybrid achieved a top speed of 359 km/h and an average speed of 245.61 km/h during the record feat.
Porsche 919 Hybrid: Le Mans winner no doubt
With the 919 Hybrid, Porsche has won the Le Mans 24-Hours from 2015 to 2017 three times in a row as well as the world champion titles for both, manufacturers and drivers, in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) during the same years.
Neel Jani commented on his record shattering feat, “The 919 Evo is brutally impressive. It is definitely the fastest car I ever drove. The grip level is at a fully new dimension for me, I couldn’t imagine this amount beforehand. The speed on which everything happens on a single lap with the 919 Evo is that fast that the demand on reaction speed is very different to what I was used to in the WEC.”
“We are not only faster than the F1 pole from 2017. Today’s lap was twelve seconds faster compared to our WEC pole position from last year! We have had three very intense days at Spa. Today I knew on the very first lap in the morning that the car’s performance was super,” he added.
To prepare the record car, the base was the 2017 919 Hybrid car. On top came developments that were prepared for the 2018 WEC but never raced after the end of 2017 withdrawal. Additionally, several aerodynamic modifications were made. For the ‘Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo’ the entire hardware of the power train remained untouched.
To help further expand the performance envelope, the super-fast Evo gained a four-wheel brake-by-wire system to provide additional yaw control. Furthermore, the power steering was adapted for the higher loads and stronger suspension wishbones (front and rear) were implemented.
Compared to the car in race trim, the dry weight was reduced by 39 kilograms to 849 kilograms. To achieve this, everything was removed what isn’t needed for a single fast lap: air-conditioning, windscreen wiper, several sensors, electronic devices from race control, lights systems and the pneumatic jack system.
Porsche’s multi-year tyre partner Michelin was immediately interested to work with a car that produces more downforce than a Formula One car. Keeping the tyre dimensions (31/71-18), the target was to increase the grip level significantly. Michelin developed new compounds to deliver the necessary grip with no compromise on safety.
Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo – (919 Hybrid WEC) specifications
Monocoque: Composite material structure
Combustion engine: V4 engine (90 degree cylinder bank angle), turbocharged
Engine management: Bosch MS5
Displacement: 2,000 cm3 (V4 engine)
Output: 720 PS,
Hybrid system: KERS with MGU; ERS
Drive system: Rear wheel drive, traction control (ASR)
Chassis: Independent front and rear wheel suspension
Brake system: 4-wheel brake-by-wire system
Wheels and tyres: BBS; Michelin Radial tyres
Weight: 849 kg (888 kg including driver ballast)
Length: 5,078 mm (4,650 mm)
Width: 1,900 mm
Height: 1,050 mm
Fuel tank capacity: 62.3 liters