An evolved version of the Porsche 919 Hybrid winner of Le Mans established a new lap record in the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, scene of Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The official Porsche driver, Neel jani, got a time of 1m41s770 on the 7,004-kilometer-long track of the circuit located in the Ardennes mountains. The 34-year-old Swiss thus broke the previous record set by the English Lewis Hamilton, at the wheel of a Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid, for 0,783 seconds.
The return of Hamilton, in 1m42s553, was achieved on August 26, 2017 and secured him pole position in last year's Formula 1 race. Jani achieved a top speed of 359 km / h and an average speed of 245,61 km / h on her record lap.
With the 919 Hybrid, Porsche has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three consecutive times, between 2015 and 2017, as well as the Manufacturers and Drivers titles in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) during the same years.
“The 919 Evo is brutally impressive. It is definitely the fastest car I have ever driven. The level of grip is in a whole new dimension for me, previously unimaginable. The speed at which everything happens in a single lap with the 919 Evo is so fast that the demand to react becomes completely different from what was usual in the WEC ”, Jani explained.
“We have not only been faster than the Formula 1 pole of 2017; Plus today's lap is twelve seconds faster compared to our pole position in the WEC last year! ”, He added.
THIS IS HOW THE RECORD WAS ESTABLISHED
The FIA technical regulations for WEC and Le Mans have succeeded in achieving a close fight between the very different Class 1 hybrid prototype concepts entered by Audi, Porsche and Toyota. As a result, the question of what the potential of the Porsche 919 Hybrid would be if it weren't tied to those limitations could never be answered ... until now.
To prepare the record vehicle, the basis that was taken was that of the 2017 world champion car. First, developments were carried out that had been prepared for the 2018 WEC, but were never put into practice after the recall, at the end of 2017. In addition, several aerodynamic modifications were made. While all powertrain hardware was unchanged in the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo.
The 919 is powered by a compact 4-liter turbo V2 engine and two different energy recovery systems.: one collects the energy from the braking of the front axle and the other from the exhaust gases. The combustion engine drives the rear axle, while the electric drives the front axle to accelerate the four-wheel-drive car. At the same time, energy is recovered from the exhaust system, which would otherwise go unused to the atmosphere. The electrical energy that comes from the front brakes and the exhaust system is temporarily stored in a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery.
Efficient WEC regulation limited the energy per turn obtained from fuel using a flow meter. In the Spa test of the 2017 season, the last of the Porsche 919 Hybrid, it could use 1,784 kilos / 2,464 liters of fuel per lap. With those specifications, the V4 combustion engine gave a power of around 500 horsepower. Freed from these restrictions and equipped with updated software, but using the usual racing fuel (E20, which contains 20% bioethanol), the 919 Hybrid Evo achieves 720 hp.
The amount of energy of the two recovery systems that could be used in each lap of Spa 2017 was 6,37 megajoules. That figure is well below the potential of the system. On the record lap, Neel Jani used a total of 8,49 megajoules, increasing the power of the electric motor by 10%, from 400 to 440 horsepower.
Engineers have also improved the aerodynamics of the 919 Evo over the regulations. The new front diffuser is now balanced by the huge new rear wing, and both have active control systems to reduce drag. These hydraulically operated systems trim the trailing edge of the front diffuser and open the gap between the main plane of the rear spoiler and the wing, respectively, to increase the Evo's aerodynamic efficiency. Underneath, the Evo's flow channels and floor have been optimized with fixed-height skirts, to once again increase aerodynamic performance and make it as efficient as possible. In total, the modifications have resulted in 53% more downforce and an increase in efficiency of 66% (compared to the qualification in the 2017 WEC Spa test).
To help further improve performance, The lightning-fast Evo incorporates a four-wheel cable braking system that provides additional steering control on the vertical axis. In addition, the power steering is adapted for higher loads and stiffer suspension arms are mounted on both axles.
Compared to the car in race configuration, the curb weight has been reduced by 39 kilos, up to 849. To achieve this, everything that is not needed for a single lap has been eliminated: air conditioning, windscreen wipers, various sensors, electronic devices for race control, lighting system and pneumatic jack system.
Long-term partner of Porsche in tire matters, Michelin , he quickly became interested in working with a car that generated more downforce than a Formula 1 car. Maintaining the dimensions of the tires (31 / 71-18), the objective has been to significantly increase the level of grip. To do this, Michelin has developed new compounds to provide the necessary grip without compromising safety.
The lap record at Spa was the first action of the Tribute to 919 Tour. The next thing to be seen is a demonstration lap on the legendary circuit of Nurburgring, before the start of the Nürburgring 24 Hours race on May 12.
Later, the car will participate in the Goodwood Festival of Speed (from July 12 to 15) and in the Porsche Festival at Brands Hatch (September 2). Afterwards, you will take part in the Porsche rennsport reunion from Laguna Seca, California (September 26-29).
Monohull: Structure of composite material based on carbon fiber with an aluminum honeycomb core. Enclosed cabin.
Combustion engine: V4 turbo engine (90 degree angle cylinder bank), 4 valves per cylinder, double overhead camshaft, 1 Garrett turbocharger, direct gasoline injection, aluminum crankshaft, dry sump lubrication. Maximum engine revolutions: 9.000 / minute, approximately.
Engine management: Bosch MS5.
Displacement: 2.000 cc (V4 engine).
Power: Combustion engine: 720 hp on the rear axle (<500 hp).
MGU: 440 hp on the front axle (> 400 hp).
Hybrid system: KERS with generator (MGU) mounted on the front axle; ERS for energy recovery from exhaust gases. Energy stored in a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery with A123 Systems cells.
Propulsion system: Rear-wheel drive, traction control (ASR), temporary all-wheel drive by connecting the front axle via an accelerating electric motor, 7-speed sequential racing transmission and hydraulic control.
Chassis: Independent front and rear suspension, push-rod design with adjustable dampers, and Pitch Link System with active lockout control (the 919 WEC version did not have active lockout control).
Braking system: Four-wheel cable braking system (front-rear cable braking system), light alloy monobloc calipers, vented carbon fiber front and rear discs. Variable control of torque on the wheels to optimize the stability of the car (variable control of the distribution of torque between the front and rear wheels).
Rims and tires: Forged magnesium BBS rims; Michelin Radial tires front and rear: 310 / 710-18.
Weight: 849 kg (888 kg including pilot's ballast).
Length: 5.078 mm (4.650 mm).
Width: 1.900 mm.
Height: 1.050 mm.
Fuel tank capacity: 62,3 liters.