porsche s 919 to get the derestricted glorious farewell tribute it deserves
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Porsche’s 919 to get the derestricted, glorious farewell tribute it deserves

On goes some clothes the parental units wouldn’t approve, out comes the restrictor and hopefully down goes the lap records and some circuits

Dinesh Appavu Photo

Dinesh Appavu

10 Apr 2018


Rules are real wet blankets. Which kid wants to go to bed at 9pm when all the fun shows come on after 11pm anyways? But when you move out of your parent’s house… well, you’re not bound by those boring rules anymore.

For clarity’s sake, the kid here is the Porsche 919 and the parents are the World Endurance Championship (WEC) prototype class regulations.

So now that the 919 is done slaughtering all its competitors in the WEC, it doesn’t have to dress up modestly and can show some skin as well as drop all inhibitions.

Once again, for clarification’s sake, that means it doesn’t have to be confined by the bodywork regulations of the WEC anymore and that tiny earthquake-generator they call an engine can be derestricted to unleash its maximum potential on a whirlwind, tribute world tour before being officially retired.

Expect the lap record at every circuit it visits to be obliterated if the first stop was anything to go by. As the first stop of its 919 Tribute tour, Porsche showed up at Spa-Francorchamps and smashed the lap record previously held by Lewis Hamilton in his Formula One car by almost a second.

The 919 ran the 7km lap in 1:41.77 minutes with Le Mans-winning Neel Jani behind the wheel.

Footage from the attempt will leave you flabbergasted at the sheer pace of the prototype carving corners and rocketing out of it.

Porsche was also kind enough to divulge how it cranked the 919 up to 11 from its already lightning pace in WEC form.

Dubbed the 919 Hybrid Evo, the hardware side of the powertrain remained untouched. So that means a compact, 2.0-litre turbocharged V4 with two energy recovery systems, the brake energy from the front axle combined with exhaust energy.

A large part of the restriction on the engine was from the WEC’s fuel per lap rule. A fuel meter restricted the fuel flow to 1.784kg/2.464-litres per lap. In this form, output was rated around 500hp.

With the nannies removed and new engine software, it now makes 720hp on the same E20 race fuel.

Even the energy recovery systems were nannied and kept to just 6.37-megajoules. Jani got to enjoy the full beans of 8.49-megajoules on his record-shattering run. The energy recovery system’s output increased too from 400hp to 440hp once it wasn’t held back.

Seeing that the 919 didn’t have to survive a minimum of six hours endurance racing, everything not required for a single fast lap was binned to drop the dry weight by 39kg to 849kg.

This included the air-conditioning, wipers, certain sensors, electronic devices for race monitoring, the pneumatic jacks and even the lights that were part of the revised aero.

The rest of the world comprises the Nurburgring in May, followed by the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Festival of Porsche and the Porsche Rennsport Reunion.

We hope Porsche kills all the records because a racecar of this pedigree deserves nothing less of a send-off.



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