Fascination of the Porsche 919 Hybrid – stages in the life of a legend
The Porsche 919 Hybrid has written motorsport history. But the final chapter is not yet complete. Before our champion finally retires to act as a new magnet for visitors to the Porsche Museum, it is saying thank you to all its fans around the globe as part of the 919 Tribute Tour. This is good enough reason to once again look back on four eventful and emotional years full of real performance and passion.
Vision meets reality
It all began with a dream. And a dedicated team with visionary ideas and the desire to achieve perfection without compromise. The aim was to construct the best vehicle in its class. The result was dominance and success all along the way. A review of the most important milestones in the four-year success story of the Porsche 919 Hybrid:
The first season in 2014 – and the first victory
In April 2014, the Porsche 919 Hybrid made its racing debut at Silverstone – with a completely unique and bold drive concept. Initially the 919 Hybrid was not a sure-fire success. It was more of a fierce fighter with the DNA of a winner. But the 919 Hybrid became stronger and stronger from race to race. It fought its way through and consistently reeled in the field from behind. Tirelessly. Relentlessly. The record from the first season in 2014 was four pole positions and its first victory in the WEC season finale in Brazil – the start of an enthralling winning streak that remains unparalleled.
2015 racing season – out and out dominance
The findings from the previous season were consistently put into practice. Weaknesses eliminated. Strengths reinforced. The Porsche LMP1 factory team succeeded in adding the crucial finishing touches to the car, with real success. Throughout the 2015 season, two out of three featured a Porsche 919 Hybrid on the front row of the grid. In qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Swiss driver Neel Jani managed to set a new lap record: He completed the 13.629 kilometers in 3 minutes 16.887 seconds.
The time then arrived: On June 14th, 2015 the 919 Hybrid recorded its first victory at Le Mans. It was the 17th overall victory in Porsche’s successful history of motor racing. The delighted drivers were Earl Bamber, Nick Tandy and Nico Hülkenberg.
The 919 Hybrid was also triumphant in the races which followed. Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley claimed overall victory in each of the four 6-hour races – at the Nürburgring, in Austin, in Fuji and in Shanghai. In Shanghai, the Porsche crew also claimed the manufacturers’ world championship. In the season finale in Bahrain, the race was won by the driver trio of Dumas, Jani and Lieb. Bernhard, Hartley and Webber also claimed the world championship title.
2016 racing season – Le Mans, the second win
Le Mans again. But this time the victorious driver trio was Dumas, Jani and Lieb. At the same time, it was the 18th overall victory for Porsche. Team-mates Bernhard, Hartley and Webber all contributed to score points at the Nürburgring, in Mexico City, in Austin and in Shanghai. In China, Porsche claimed its second manufacturers’ world championship in succession. At the season finale in Bahrain, the winning trio Dumas, Jani and Lieb only needed to finish sixth to be crowned the new world champions.
2017 racing season – hello hat trick
In Silverstone, the two 919 Hybrids finished second and third. In Spa, they came third and fourth. Then Porsche picked up speed again.The newly assembled trio of drivers Bamber, Bernhard and Hartley claimed the overall lead in Le Mans and secured the hat-trick. It was the 19th overall victory for Porsche. The heroes of Le Mans were also successful at the Nürburgring, in Mexico City and in Austin. After the penultimate world championship race in Shanghai, Porsche had already secured its third manufacturers’ world championship. And, the 919 Hybrid finally went into the annals of motor racing history as a true legend.
100,000 kilometers driven, millions of people thrilled
With its continuous top level of performance over four years, the Porsche 919 Hybrid has created a monument to itself and has driven its way into the hearts of motor racing fans for all time. From race to race, from pole position to pole position and from victory to victory the level of excitement grew – and so did the fan base. Now that this unrivalled success story has culminated, it is time to say thank you to the fans. With an impressive world tour – the 919 Tribute Tour 2018 – the legendary car is now bidding farewell to the great motor racing stage in fitting style and is demonstrating once again what it is truly capable of.
Power unleased – the 919 Hybrid Evo
On the 919 Hybrid Evo, features including a larger front diffuser, a wider rear wing, side skirts and a DRS system produce 53 per cent more downforce and an increase in efficiency of 66 per cent. Compared to the initial design, the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo now delivers an impressive 720 hp rather than the previous 500 hp thanks to the increased flow of petrol. In addition, the energy recovery systems operate ten per cent more efficiently: The power output in the Evo version is 440 hp (previously: 400 hp). The power-assisted steering and the front and rear wheel mounts have been adapted accordingly to cope with the higher forces. Another factor is that the 919 Hybrid Evo is 39 kilograms lighter than the original racing version at 849 kilograms. To achieve this, the air conditioning, wiper, various sensors, the electronics unit for the stewards, the light system and the pneumatic jack device were removed. And the long-standing tire partner Michelin has also contributed to the success of “mission lap record” by producing a new tire compound. Ultimately, the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo generates more downforce than a Formula 1 racing car.
Coming to a city near you with an insatiable appetite for records
Away from the competition and liberated from the tight rules governing the top prototype class, the triple winner of Le Mans can finally display its full potential as part of its farewell tour. For example, at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps race circuit in Belgium. It was there on April 9th, 2018 that the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo broke the track record – thanks to unlimited petrol flow and unchecked performance of the hybrid systems. This was a more than successful start to the great farewell tour and undoubtedly not the last highlight. Before the 919 Tribute Tour 2018 ends on a fitting high note at the Porsche Museum, fans all over the world will have plenty of opportunities to see the legend in action - up close and live once more. And to share their experiences using #919tribute.
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