Published on June 9th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Le Mans 24Hrs This Weekend, 13th & 14th June. Porsche 919 Hybrid Details
The Porsche team is ready for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13–14, 2015 – the team will send a white, a black and a red Porsche 919 Hybrid onto the circuit.
The starting number and colour of the red prototype are a tribute to the Porsche that captured the first of what are now a total of 16 overall victories for the brand in Le Mans in 1970. No other brand has claimed so many victories in what is believed to be the world’s most demanding endurance race. The base colour of the Porsche 917 KH (“short-tail”) in “Salzburg Design” that won the race 45 years ago on June 14, 1970 was also red.
The black LMP1 with starting number 18 is a symbol of the close technical kinship between the Porsche 919 Hybrid racing car and the Porsche 918 Spyder super sports car, which is also equipped with a hybrid drive. It was also a black 918 that on September 4, 2013 set a new record for a street-legal production sports car by completing a lap of more than 20 kilometres on the North Loop of the Nürburgring in six minutes and 57 seconds. The record-setting driver here was Marc Lieb, 34, from Germany. Lieb will also drive the black 919 in Le Mans this year – together with Romain Dumas, 37, (France) and Neel Jani, 31 (Switzerland).
The team’s third car – the white 919 Hybrid with starting number 19 – will be competing in Le Mans in the colour Porsche chose for its return to top-notch racing after a 16-year absence. White, which is a traditional colour for racing cars from Germany, will also be used with the two Porsche 911 RSR factory cars that will race in the GTE Pro Class. In Le Mans, the third 919 will be driven by Earl Bamber, 24 (New Zealand), F 1 driver Nico Hülkenberg, 27 (Germany) and Nick Tandy, 30 (UK).
Although the basic concept of the Class 1 Le Mans Prototype (LMP1) was retained in the second generation, virtually every component was refined. The ambitious goals for the next evolutionary stage were to make the vehicle more efficient, more rigid, easier to handle, lighter and yet more robust.
The 919 is equipped with a 2-litre V4 turbocharged petrol engine with an output of more than 500 hp, which powers the rear axle, and an electric motor with over 400 hp that drives the front wheels and gets its electricity from two energy-recovery systems. A liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery temporarily stores converted braking energy from the front axle as well as converted exhaust-gas energy. The reworked drive system is more powerful and more efficient than before. The Porsche 919 Hybrid was homologated for the top energy-recovery category (8 megajoules for one lap in Le Mans) for the first time in 2015.
The vehicle’s lower weight and improved overall rigidity, as well as optimisations made to the suspension and aerodynamics, improved the handling of the endurance racing car. Despite the significant weight reductions, the engineers were still able to make certain key components more robust.