Published on June 15th, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Porsche 919 Hybrid Goes to Le Mans as Title Defender
Public expectations are high ahead of the 84th running of the Le Mans 24-Hours on June 18/19: Porsche enters the world’s hardest race with the 919 Hybrid as a record holder, title defender and leader in both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ world championships. Le Mans is also the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Ahead of the season’s highlight, the trio of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb leads the drivers’ standings. The reigning world champions in the sister car, Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber, have been unlucky in the first two rounds (accident in Silverstone, puncture in Spa-Francorchamps) and can’t wait to catch up. At the classic on La Sarthe, the teams and drivers are rewarded with double points compared to the other eight six-hour races in the championship.
For Porsche it is the third entry in Le Mans after returning to top level motorsport. In 2015, at only the second try, Porsche managed a one-two result. The 919, with its ground-breaking downsizing two-litre V4 turbocharged petrol engine and its two energy recovery systems (brake and exhaust energy), has been significantly developed. It produces a system power of 662 kW (900 HP) and hits the Le Mans roads with an aerodynamic configuration for low drag. On the long straights the 919 frequently reaches top speeds above 320 km/h.
The six works drivers have between them participated in the Le Mans race a total of 49 times. Bernhard/Hartley/Webber finished second last year and now drive the futuristic prototype with the number 1. Dumas/Jani/Lieb came fifth in 2015 and share the number 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid. Last year’s winning car was in the hands of Earl Bamber, Nico Hülkenberg and Nick Tandy.