Time to say goodbye: The Final Drive of the 919 Tribute
October 25th, 2018 represented the end of an era: As part of the 919 Tribute Tour, the Le Mans legend completed its last official trip. The final 25 kilometers saw the champion travel with official permission on public roads – from the Weissach Development Centre, where it all began, to the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen. The final chapter in a story of unparalleled success. And the start of a new career as a magnet for visitors.
The Porsche Museum was delighted to receive two new exhibits. First the Porsche 919 Hybrid in the original configuration from the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Second the “unleashed” 1,160 bhp Porsche 919 Evo in which Neel Jani beat the Formula 1 qualifying record at Spa in April 2018 and in which Timo Bernhard set a new lap record on the North Loop of the Nürburgring in June.
These two illustrious exhibits were delivered by no less than the nine-time Formula 1 Grand Prix winner and 919 World Endurance Champion of 2015, Mark Webber, and Marc Lieb, 2016 Le Mans overall winner and world champion in the 919. Bringing these two legendary race cars to their new spiritual home was no routine task for these experienced drivers. “It was kind of crazy and fascinating to handle this beast in public traffic on German roads. The 919 and the years in the FIA World Endurance Championship mean a great deal to me. It was an honor for me to bring the 919 Evo home,” said Webber. And Marc Lieb, who was born in Stuttgart, was also thrilled: “This drive for me was a very fitting way to finish – for Porsche, for the 919 and for me personally.”
The two exceptional racing cars were escorted by a convoy of accompanying vehicles including other decorated successful 919 drivers such as Neel Jani, Timo Bernhard, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber. A line-up in a class of its own.
“After these final kilometers on public roads, the LMP1 project is now behind us, and we are opening a new chapter: In production cars and in motorsport. Porsche is now focusing on the challenges of pure electric mobility. The response to our entry into Formula E at the end of 2019 has been extremely positive. This provides us with extra motivation to break fresh ground,” says team boss Andreas Seidel.