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The Porsche 919 Hybrid is a Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) sports car built and used by the German manufacturer Porsche in the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons of the FIA World Endurance Championship. It was Porsche's first all-new prototype since the RS Spyder and the first to compete in the premier level of sports car racing since the Porsche 911 GT1. Work on the car began in mid-2011, and its monocoque was finalised at the end of 2012 with inspiration from the 911 GT3 R Hybrid racing car and the 918 Spyder hybrid-sports vehicle. The car features two separate energy-recovery hybrid systems to recover thermal energy from exhaust gases and convert kinetic energy into electrical energy under braking for storage into lithium-ion battery packs. In accordance with the 2014 regulations, the vehicle was placed in the 6 MJ (1.7 kWh) class. Its had a two-litre (120 cu in) 90-degree V4 mid-mounted mono-turbocharged petrol engine that produced 500 hp (370 kW) and acted as a chassis load-bearing member.

Porsche 919 Hybrid
Porsche 919 Hybrid 20.jpg
A Porsche 919 Hybrid at the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans
CategoryLMP1-H
ConstructorPorsche AG
PredecessorPorsche RS Spyder
Technical specifications[1]
ChassisComposite of carbon fibre with honeycomb aluminium core
Suspension (front)Independent multi-link pushrod configuration with adjustable shock absorbers
Suspension (rear)Same as front
Length4,650 mm (183 in)
Width1,900 mm (75 in)
Height1,050 mm (41 in)
EnginePorsche 2.0 L (2,000 cc) direct-injected turbocharged V4 engine with lithium-ion battery for energy recovery in mid-mounted longitudinal configuration
TransmissionPorsche seven-speed hydraulically-activated sequential gearbox with rear-lock differential
Weight
  • 875 kg (1,929 lb)
  • (before driver or fuel)
FuelEsso/Mobil Synergy race fuels
LubricantsMobil 1
TiresMichelin Radial 310/710-18, front and rear
Competition history
Notable entrantsPorsche Team
Notable drivers
Debut2014 6 Hours of Silverstone
RacesWinsPodiumsPolesF.Laps
331743114
Constructors' Championships3 (2015 FIA WEC), (2016 FIA WEC), (2017 FIA WEC)
Drivers' Championships3 (2015 FIA WEC), (2016 FIA WEC), (2017 FIA WEC)

On 4 March 2014, the 919 Hybrid was shown to the press for the first time during the Geneva Motor Show. Porsche supplied two cars, driven by six drivers, for the season. Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb won three pole positions and the season-ending 6 Hours of São Paulo as Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber helped the team to finish third in the World Manufacturers' Championship. The car was further developed in accordance with the 2015 regulations. Its front was reshaped, and its weight was reduced by manufacturing the chassis as a single piece. The hybrid system was made lighter and more efficient to produce additional power and was categorised into the 8 MJ (2.2 kWh) category. Bernhard, Hartley and Webber won four out of eight races to claim the 2015 World Endurance Drivers' Championship and the World Manufacturers' Championship. Earl Bamber, Nico Hülkenberg and Nick Tandy triumphed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving a third 919 Hybrid.

The car was further developed for the 2016 season. Many of its components were improved through detailed performance enhancements and reducing overall weight. The engine was made lighter, and the car's hybrid system was made more efficient and powerful. Porsche created three distinct body kits to aerodynamically match the 919 Hybrid to a track. Dumas, Jani and Lieb won the 6 Hours of Silverstone and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Consistent performances from the trio won them the 2016 World Endurance Drivers' Championship and the team's second. Although Bernhard, Hartley and Webber had reliability issues in the season's first three races, the trio won four of the six remaining rounds to help Porsche win its second consecutive World Manufacturers' Championship.

Further development was undertaken for the 2017 season. The front of the car was redesigned to make it less aerodynamically sensitive to small debris, and the car's rearward air intakes were redesigned for the radiators to cool the engine. Tandy and former Audi LMP1 driver André Lotterer joined Jani in place of Dumas and Lieb, and Bamber teamed up with Bernhard and Hartley, replacing the retired Webber. Porsche finished on the podium in the first two rounds. Bamber, Bernhard and Hartley recovered from a 13-lap deficit to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and three more races for Porsche's third consecutive World Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championships at the season's penultimate round, the 2017 6 Hours of Shanghai. After 2017, the 919 Hybrid project was discontinued to allow Porsche to enter Formula E and an evolution of the car called the 919 Evo, which was demonstrated in 2018.

DevelopmentEdit

ConceptEdit

In mid-May 2011, Porsche decided to compete as a works team in the Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) category for the FIA World Endurance Championship, which began in 2012.[2] Two months later, Porsche publicly announced the plans and stated that the car would debut in the 2014 season.[3] Around this time, the Porsche Motorsport Centre Flacht in Weissach expanded to 200 full-time employees working on the project's design, assembly and deployment.[4] In late 2011, Porsche employed Fritz Enzinger from fellow German marque BMW to serve as the vice-president of LMP1. Enzinger oversaw the organisation of the vehicle's construction. At the end of the year, Porsche employed Alex Hitzinger—former Head of F1 Development for engine builder Cosworth and later Red Bull Racing's Head of Advanced Technologies—to oversee the car's technical design.[5]

The car was named the 919 Hybrid as an acknowledgement of Porsche's embarkation into hybrid car technology and to honour the company's tradition of having similarly named vehicles compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.[6] It was Porsche's first sports car prototype built since the RS Spyder debuted in 2005, the first prototype Porsche constructed to compete in the top category of sports car racing since the 1998 Porsche 911 GT1-98 and Porsche LMP1-98 and the first sports car prototype to be raced by Porsche as a factory operation since the Porsche 911 GT1-98 and Porsche LMP1-98.[7] A total of nine chassis were built.[8]

DesignEdit

At the end of 2012, the monocoque was finalised to comply with a request from Porsche, which wanted it to be ready for testing in June 2013. It was designed for maximum efficiency while meeting the 2014 LMP1 regulations on driver visibility with a raised cockpit.[9] The 919 Hybrid's developers were inexperienced in the LMP1 category, but they drew upon Porsche's history racing the 911 GT3 R Hybrid in 2010 and 2011 and the 918 Spyder hybrid-powered sports car.[10] The 2014 LMP1 regulations mandated that the car be no longer than 4,650 mm (183 in), be around 1,800 mm (71 in) to 1,900 mm (75 in) wide and 1,050 mm (41 in) tall.[11] The aerodynamic fine-tuning of the carbon fibre with honeycomb aluminum core chassis began in February 2012,[10] and 2,000 hours were spent in wind tunnels at Porsche's Weissach facilities and the University of Stuttgart.[12][13] It combined the car's low weight with a high amount of torsional rigidity and safety.[10] This allowed for the foundation of a precise wheel location via its independent multi-link suspension with pushrods and adjustable shock absorbers to exploit its 360 mm (14 in) Michelin tyres.[12][14] The regulations reduced the car's maximum weight to 870 kg (1,920 lb).[11]

 
The front view of the Porsche 919 Hybrid on display at the 2014 Concours d'Elegance

The compact and lightweight engine was a two-litre (120 cu in) 90-degree V4 cylinder bank mid-mounted mono-turbocharged petrol engine.[15][16] It ran at 9,000 rpm, with performance coming from a direct fuel-injection system and a single Garrett-designed turbocharger with a dual overhead camshaft.[12][14] It produced approximately 500 hp (370 kW) and acted as a chassis load-bearing member.[17] Due to the small size of the engine, the transmission casing was fitted to the rear suspension and was almost a third of the car's length.[9] Engine cooling was achieved through a carbon-fibre-and-gold thermal airbox in its centre. Front airflow was enabled by louvres along its flank, and a single curved roll-hoop intake was mounted on its roof to allow air cooling.[18] The car had traction control and a hydraulically operated seven-speed sequential gearbox with rear-lock differential, which was mounted inside a carbon-fibre casing with titanium inserts around its high-stress sections.[14][19] The brake discs were made from internally ventilated light-alloy carbon ceramic materials, and the car has power steering.[9] For night driving, Porsche designed two four-point LED headlights at both sides of the vehicle for better visibility.[10][11]

The 919 Hybrid had two separate energy-recovery hybrid systems.[20] The rear exhaust system used a two-turbine electric generator to recover thermal energy from exhaust gasses,[15][18][20] which exited from an off-central outlet on one side of the engine cover's dorsal fin.[19] The front system utilised a 185 kW (248 hp) motor–generator (MGU) on the front axle; when braking, kinetic energy was converted into electrical energy, which was stored in water-cooled A123 Systems lithium-ion battery packs that were installed centrally in the passenger side.[14][17] This gave the front axle better electrical energy regeneration and traction under braking,[9] eliminating turbo lag.[21] Under acceleration, the front generator operated as a single electric motor to run the front wheels via a differential with electricity upfront and petrol at the rear.[11][21] It temporarily made the car four-wheel drive as the electric motor directed an extra 400 hp (300 kW) to the front wheels for a total of 1,000 hp (750 kW).[18] The 2014 regulations divided the MGU hierarchy into 2 MJ (0.56 kWh) increments, from 2 to 8 MJ (0.56 to 2.22 kWh). Porsche chose the 6 MJ (1.7 kWh) category, allowing the 919 Hybrid to use 4.78 l (1.05 imp gal; 1.26 US gal) per lap at Le Mans,[22] although Porsche designed it to operate in the 8 MJ (2.2 kWh) class because of incompatibility.[23]

PreparationEdit

In April 2013, Porsche named its first two drivers, Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas, who were co-champions of the American Le Mans Series Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class in 2007 and 2008 and co-winners of the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans. They were chosen for their previous experience in Le Mans Prototype racing for the marque.[24] Two months later, Neel Jani was drafted from the Rebellion Racing team to sign a multi-year contract for Porsche.[25] Red Bull Racing Formula One driver Mark Webber, whose last experience in sports car racing was the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans for AMG-Mercedes, joined Porsche's LMP1 operation two days later.[26] In December 2013, the programme's final two drivers were announced, with Mercedes-Benz Formula One test driver and Murphy Prototypes European Le Mans Series LMP2 competitor Brendon Hartley and long-time Grand Touring racer Marc Lieb completing the lineup.[27]

Dumas shared the No. 14 car with Jani and Lieb while Bernhard was paired with Webber and Hartley in the No. 20 entry.[28] According to Enzinger, Dumas and Bernhard were paired separately because Porsche wanted to create parity in terms of experience and driver weight within both crews. Enzinger explained that Timo and Romain had "the most prototype experience of [the] drivers, so [they] decided to split them" and that they had "two newcomers to Porsche in Neel [Jani] and Brendon [Hartley] and decided to put one in each car. The other factor was weight. [They] looked at the weight of the drivers" and "tried to equalise that across the two cars [...] to be absolutely fair to give both cars an equal chance."[29]

Livery, testing and launchEdit

 
The Porsche 919 Hybrid at its official reveal at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show

The 919 Hybrid was liveried in white and incorporated the 'Porsche Intelligent Performance' slogan, with the first letters of each word emblazoned down the vehicle when viewed from the top. The rear wing was liveried in black with the word 'Porsche' in red letters.[30] The team had no title sponsor, with few sponsor stickers adorning the car. Its race number was put in a red square in the middle of the top section of its sidepods and near both fenders but below both door panels.[31] On 12 June 2013, Bernhard drove the 919 Hybrid in a one-day private test session under a camouflage livery at Porsche's Weissach test track.[4] Testing continued into September, with car development carried out at France's Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours and Circuit Paul Ricard, Italy's Autodromo Nazionale Monza and Germany's EuroSpeedway Lausitz. Its 2013 schedule concluded at Portugal's Algarve International Circuit in December.[32]

On 4 March 2014, the car was officially revealed at a press conference during the Geneva Motor Show.[33] From 24 to 26 March, Porsche held its first two-car endurance tests at the Circuit Paul Ricard and fine-tuned the 919 Hybrid's setups with its drivers, covering a total of 4,756 km (2,955 mi) with multiple technical problems stopping both cars several times during the three-day session.[34] The team stayed at the track for the official two-day pre-season test. During the Friday night session, Hartley set the fastest overall lap time at 1 minute and 41.289 seconds in a low-downforce configuration car package.[35]

Subsequent alterationsEdit

2015 versionEdit

 
The red liveried No. 17 Porsche 919 Hybrid that was driven in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

Porsche redesigned the 919 Hybrid for the 2015 season, carrying over the concept from 2014. It featured a new chassis with an identical layout, and it was manufactured as one to save weight in the rear crash structure, suspension and aerodynamics from 900 kg (2,000 lb) to 870 kg (1,920 lb).[36][37] The car was categorised into the 8 MJ (2.2 kWh) class because of a lighter, refined and improved hybrid system that increased its maximum power to 294 hp (219 kW),[36] following a decision made by Porsche around early March 2015.[37] The car's nose-cone impact structure was lowered and narrowed, with its lead supported by the front bodywork's leading edge. Its curved louvres were replaced by two straight slats with a bulge on the rear floor.[36] Porsche changed the car's centralised exhaust system to a twin exhaust-pipe layout that was arranged symmetrically to the axis for improved output and more efficient aerodynamics.[16]

The 2015-specification car began private testing at Porsche's Weissach test track with Lieb in December 2014.[38] Drivers further tested it at UAE's Yas Marina Circuit, the Bahrain International Circuit and Spain's Ciudad del Motor de Aragón from January to March.[37] The first pictures of the car were published online on 16 January,[39] and it was officially revealed to the press at Circuit Paul Ricard's official two-day pre-season test session on 26 March.[40] Porsche used three liveries for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The No. 17 car was adorned in red as a tribute to Porsche's first overall victory at Le Mans with the Porsche 917 in 1970. The team's No. 18 entry was liveried in black to showcase the close technical similarities between the 919 Hybrid and the 918 Spyder. The No. 19 vehicle was adorned in white, which is the national standard colour of German and Porsche's racing cars.[40]

2016 versionEdit

The carbon fibre sandwich chassis was retained for the 2016 season, but many of the car's components were improved because of detailed performance enhancements and weight reduction. The wheel rim was redesigned to be deeper in an attempt to reduce drag. The mandatory air extractor, which cooled the top of the front wheel arches, had a turning vane on its inner edge. The car had new rear wing endplates with a small extension at its base as part of the car's bodywork. The 2016-specification 919 Hybrid had three distinct aerodynamic packages.[36] They were used depending on the type of circuit, with two high-downforce configurations for the Silverstone Circuit and a low-downforce package for the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans (developed in Williams Grand Prix Engineering's wind tunnel in Grove, England with full-scale testing in Germany).[36][41]

 
The No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid on display at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Because of a new World Endurance Championship regulation that restricted the amount of available electrical energy and fuel by 8%,[42] Porsche's engineers redesigned the vehicle's engine to be lighter and produce around 480 to 495 hp (358 to 369 kW).[36] Within the car's kinetic energy recovery system, the electric motor on the front axle, the power electronics and a new generation of lithium-ion battery cells in the in-house designed car battery were optimised to produce more horsepower.[36] The power delivered by the front axle was more than 400 hp (300 kW) with a cumulative total of 900 hp (670 kW) from both the car's front and rear to an 800-volt battery.[42]

In mid-February 2016, Porsche held an eight-day tyre development test session at the Yas Marina Circuit, covering a total of 6,201 km (3,853 mi) between its six drivers.[43] On 23 March, the car was officially revealed online, two days before the annual pre-season test session at Circuit Paul Ricard.[44] The livery, which was different than in the previous two years, was mostly in black and white with touches of red.[42]

2017 versionEdit

According to Porsche, it retained the monocoque from 2016, but 60 to 70% of the 2017-specification 919 Hybrid was new, with the largest alterations being to its aerodynamic demands.[36] This included a major redesign of the front of the 919 Hybrid with wider arches for the front wheels to make it less aerodynamically sensitive from small bits of discarded rubber from the track surface. To the car's side, a new channel from the monocoque to the wheel arch was made visible, along with redesigned rearward air intakes for the radiators to cool the engine.[36][45] New cost-cutting regulations mandated LMP1 teams to slow the cars and use just two aerodynamic packages for the season, restricting the amount of flexibility depending on the type of track.[46] One aerodynamic alteration raised the front splitter to lower its cornering speeds and featured two strakes on its underside.[36][47] Porsche elected for a low-downforce package that minimised air resistance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and a second that compensated for an increased amount of drag and downforce for tighter circuits.[48]

 
The 2017-specification Porsche 919 Hybrid being tested at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Porsche remained in the 8 MJ (2.2 kWh) MGU category for the 2017 season.[36] The 919 Hybrid's engine was modified to be lighter and more compact, and Porsche stated that it was the company's most-efficient power plant in its history. The engine's power output was less than 500 hp (370 kW) and slightly more than 400 hp (300 kW) when the car's dual kinetic-energy recovery systems were active, for a total of 900 hp (670 kW). Approximately 60% of kinetic energy produced under braking was recovered by its front kinetic energy recovery system, and the remaining 40% was generated by the rear dual exhaust pipe system.[46] Exhaust gases allowed the turbine to run at more than 120,000 rpm, operating a MGU that converted kinetic energy into electricity and stored it into the third-generation lithium-ion battery.[46][47] The turbine was designed to run efficiently with variable geometry when there was low exhaust pressure at low speeds.[49] The 919 Hybrid's livery was changed to white and black, with grey and red lines adorning its body.[46]

In December 2016, testing of the car began at the Ciudad del Motor de Aragón and lasted for one week.[50] Two months later, the team returned to the track for five days of further vehicle-development testing and undertook endurance runs of 7,200 km (4,500 mi).[51] The first spy photographs of the 2017 919 Hybrid testing at the Circuit Paul Ricard were published on 27 March 2017.[52] Four days later, the car was officially revealed to the press.[47] The two cars ran with its six drivers in the official two-day pre-season test session at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.[53]

Racing historyEdit

2014Edit

At the season-opening 6 Hours of Silverstone, Dumas and Jani's No. 14 car started from third while Webber and Bernhard's No. 20 car started from sixth.[54] In the opening laps of the race, Jani fell to sixth; a problem with the front left wheel bearing forced Jani to the garage before retiring with an unrelated hydraulic problem after 30 laps. Bernhard passed Alexander Wurz's No. 7 Toyota TS040 Hybrid for second place at the beginning of the second hour on lap 53, but the No. 20 car slowed after it began raining because of its low-downforce package, ultimately finishing the weather-shortened race in third.[55][56] Two weeks later, Jani and Lieb took the car's first pole position in changeable weather conditions in the qualifying's final seconds at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps while Bernhard and Hartley began from fifth place.[57] The No. 14 car led the first two hours until Sébastien Buemi's No. 8 Toyota passed it. An electrical fault disabled the No. 14's hybrid system and losing the car two laps, falling to 23rd overall with a subsequent rear damper problem and two front driveshaft faults.[58][59]

In the trio of qualifying sessions held to determine the grid for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Hartley's No. 20 vehicle set the first session's fastest lap,[60] but the car fell to fourth the next day despite Bernhard improving its lap time in the second session.[61] Jani's No. 14 car was second after the first session, maintaining it through the remaining two sessions as Dumas twice bettered its lap.[60] The No. 20 entry failed to finish enough laps for classification due to a broken anti-roll bar, and fuel pressure and gearbox problems left the No. 14 car in eleventh overall.[62][63] For the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas, Jani and Dumas qualified the No. 14 car second despite a transgression of energy recovery system limits nullifying one of Jani's laps; Hartley and Webber's No. 20 entry took third.[64] In a race that was red flagged for 77 minutes because of a thunderstorm flooding the Circuit of the Americas, Jani overtook the Toyota cars to lead at the restart, but a loss of engine power left the No. 14 car in fourth. Bernhard aquaplaned and beached the No. 20 car in a gravel trap, but he, Webber and Hartley finished fifth.[65][66]

 
The No. 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid (pictured at the 2014 6 Hours of Fuji) took Porsche's first overall victory in endurance prototype motor racing since 1989 in São Paulo.

At the season's fifth race, the 6 Hours of Fuji, Webber and Bernard's No. 20 Porsche were beaten to the pole position by Buemi and Anthony Davidson's No. 8 Toyota with less than two minutes left in qualifying; the No. 14 entry of Jani and Lieb took third.[67] Webber and the two Toyota cars duelled until a pit stop to replace a slow puncture lost him time by double stinting his tyres. He led twelve laps, and Porsche took its second podium of 2014 by finishing the No. 20 car third after power issues. The sister No. 14 car was a further lap adrift in fourth.[68][69] Three weeks later at the 6 Hours of Shanghai, Jani and Dumas qualified with an identical two-lap average to Buemi and Davidson's No. 8 Toyota; the pole position was awarded to the former because they set their times first. Webber and Hartley's No. 14 car was 0.024 seconds slower in third.[70] Dumas led until his teammate Hartley passed him on the 22nd lap. After the No. 20 Porsche's first pit stop in the second hour, Hartley sustained a puncture and fell to sixth.[71] Jani's No. 14 car contested Tom Kristensen's No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro for third, winning the battle with assistance from Webber to claim Porsche's third podium of 2014.[72]

Jani and Dumas took Porsche's third pole position of the season and their second in a row at the 6 Hours of Bahrain while Bernhard and Hartley were 1.046 seconds slower in third.[73] Dumas exchanged the lead and matched Toyota's pace to secure its first double podium, with the No. 14 car second and the sister No. 20 vehicle third despite brake temperature problems.[74] At the season-closing 6 Hours of São Paulo, Webber and Bernhard took the No. 20 vehicle's first pole position of 2014; Jani and Lieb were 0.107 seconds slower in second.[75] Webber and later his teammate Lieb led the event's first quarter until a battle developed between Porsche, Toyota and Audi during its middle phase. Although the car deviated from the normal pit stop sequence due to a puncture, Jani advanced the No. 14 Porsche to first. He led Davidson by 14 seconds until a major collision involving Webber and Matteo Cressoni's No. 90 8 Star Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia ended the race under safety car conditions. The No. 14 Porsche won the race while the No. 20 car was unclassified.[n 1][76][77] Competing with the 919 Hybrid, Porsche scored 193 points to finish third in the World Endurance Manufacturers' Championship.[78]

2015Edit

In November 2014, Porsche confirmed that all six of its drivers would be retained for the 2015 season.[79] For the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a third 919 Hybrid was entered for GT racers Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy and Force India Formula One driver Nico Hülkenberg.[80] Webber and Hartley qualified the re-numbered No. 17 car in the pole position, and Jani and Dumas's No. 18 car took second at the season-opening 6 Hours of Silverstone.[81] 1 hour and 20 minutes in, Webber's No. 17 Porsche retired from the lead with a rear drivetrain failure.[82] Jani, Lieb and Dumas's sister No. 18 car used its better acceleration and straight-line speed to exchange the overall lead with André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer's No. 7 Audi in slower traffic over the rest of the race but the entry lost the battle and finished second.[83][84]

 
The three Porsche 919 Hybrids at the 2015 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

During qualifying for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, Porsche took the first three starting positions, with Hartley and Bernhard's No. 17 car earning the pole position, Hülkenberg and Tandy's No. 19 vehicle starting second and Jani and Lieb's No. 18 entry qualifying third.[85] Hartley led until he incurred a 15-second stop-and-go penalty for driving onto an escape road at the Bus Stop chicane, entering a gap in a tyre wall where marshals were stationed. A damper problem while he was relieved by Webber lost him more time, giving Lieb the lead. Jani and later Lieb battled Tréluyer's No. 7 Audi for the victory in the final two hours, and finished in second. The sister No. 17 recovered to third and the No. 19 came through the field for sixth after contact with Kévin Estre's No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR.[86][87][88]

At Le Mans, Bernhard's No. 17 car broke the 2008 track record of the Circuit de la Sarthe until Jani bettered it to claim the pole position in the first qualifying session.[89] Tandy put the No. 19 Porsche in third as the team's other two cars did not improve their lap times in the following two sessions.[90][91] During the race, Porsche battled with Audi, pulling away as night fell and asphalt temperatures lowered. This enabled Porsche's cars to push harder on their tyres, matching Audi's pace though Dumas braked too late for Mulsanne Corner and hit a tyre barrier. The No. 18 car drove to the pit lane for bodywork repairs, and it recovered to finish fifth. Later, Webber was observed passing in a yellow flag zone, earning him a one-minute stop-and-go penalty and relegating the No. 17 car to second. Tandy improved his pace, and later Bamber took the lead midway through the 14th hour, maintaining it to claim Porsche's first overall Le Mans victory since 1998.[92]

For the season's fourth round, the 6 Hours of Nürburgring, Lieb and Dumas continued Porsche's unbroken streak in qualifying with the pole position; Webber and Bernhard secured second.[93] Jani led the opening stint while a broken front diveplane slowed Bernhard. An early pit stop where Webber relieved Bernhard saw the diveplane repaired, and he inherited a large lead when the No. 18 car incurred three separate stop-and-go penalties for excess fuel flow due to a faulty engine sensor. Jani recovered to second after prevailing over Lucas di Grassi and Lotterer's Audi cars as the No. 17 car won.[94] Although Jani lacked hybrid boost on his first lap, he and Lieb won the pole position for the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas while Hartley and Bernhard took second.[95] Webber overtook Jani at the start, maintaining his lead until his co-driver Bernhard took a minute stop-and-go penalty because a mechanic touched his car under refuelling conditions. Dumas's No. 18 car appeared likely to win, but a 12-volt onboard circuit issue forced him into the garage with 35 minutes left. He returned to the track to complete the final lap in 12th while Hartley obtained the No. 17 car's second successive win.[96][97]

 
The No. 17 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber won four races and the 2015 World Endurance Drivers' Championship.

In qualifying for the 6 Hours of Fuji, Porsche secured the front row with Bernhard and Webber on the pole position and Dumas and Lieb in second.[98] The race began after 40 minutes behind the safety car on a wet track, in mist and fog. Webber immediately fell to fourth due to a driver error.[99] Once the track dried, Dumas took the lead, but his crew incurred a drive-through penalty for passing under full course yellow flag conditions. Porsche invoked team orders to Jani on the final lap to give Bernhard, Webber and Hartley the win.[100] At the 6 Hours of Shanghai, Hartley and Webber took another pole position with Lieb and Dumas again in second.[101] Hartley led the weather-affected race from the start, but Lieb hit Lotterer's No. 7 Audi and spun on a kerb. Jani took over the No. 18 entry; he recovered to pass the Audi cars for the lead, but Dumas spun with 1 hour and 20 minutes to go. The No. 18 car recovered to second while Bernhard and Webber's No. 17 car won its fourth race of 2015 and the World Manufacturers' Championship for Porsche with one race left in the season.[n 2][103][102]

Entering the season-closing 6 Hours of Bahrain, Bernhard, Hartley and Webber led the World Endurance Drivers' Championship by 12 points over Lotterer, Fässler and Tréluyer's No. 7 Audi; a fifth-place finish by them and a first-place finish by their rivals would lose them the title.[104] They increased their advantage by one point after Hartley and Bernhard set the fastest two-lap average in qualifying. This also ensured that Porsche won every pole position of 2015. Jani and Lieb began from second.[105] Bernhard lost five laps due to a broken throttle actuator and a front axle energy recovery system failure in the fifth hour. Webber completed the race on hybrid power in fifth to secure his, Hartley's and Bernhard's first Drivers' Championship. Dumas, Jani and Lieb beat the mechanically-impaired Audi cars in a mid-race battle for the No. 18 team's only win of 2015.[106][107] Competing with the 919 Hybrid for the second year in a row, Porsche accumulated 344 points to win the World Manufacturers' Championship.[108] At the inaugural post-season rookie test at the Bahrain International Circuit, GP2 Series driver Mitch Evans and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya shared a 919 Hybrid.[109]

2016Edit

In November 2015, Porsche confirmed that all six of its drivers would remain for the 2016 season.[110] The company made a joint decision with Audi not to field a third car for the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a cost-cutting measure in anticipation of potential financial penalties from the Volkswagen emissions scandal.[111] At the season-opening 6 Hours of Silverstone, Hartley and Webber's No. 1 entry qualified third while Jani and Dumas's sister No. 2 entry took fourth, ending Porsche's streak of pole positions that extended back to the 2014 6 Hours of Fuji.[112] Webber passed the Audi cars of Oliver Jarvis and Lotterer in the first hour before Hartley relieved him. The No. 1 car retired from heavy contact with Michael Wainwright's No. 86 Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR at the exit of Farm Corner. The No. 2 car battled the No. 7 Audi for the lead until Jani made an unscheduled pit stop to replace a puncture, finishing 47 seconds behind in second.[113] Later, Porsche inherited the victory after the Audi was disqualified for illegal skid block wear.[114]

 
The No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb won two races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the team's second consecutive World Endurance Drivers' Championship.

Hartley and Bernhard won Porsche's first pole position of 2016 in qualifying for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and were joined by Jani and Lieb on the grid's front row.[115] In the race, the No. 1 car led until Bernhard and later Webber sustained two left-front punctures and spent 1 hour and 40 minutes replacing the front axle gearbox. It later emerged on the track to finish 27th overall and earned championship points for completing 70% of the total distance. The No. 2 car's main energy recovery system was switched off, making its drivers unable to utilise the car's full electric power capability though they finished second.[116][117] At Le Mans, Jani took the pole position in the first ten minutes of qualifying while Bernard took second as heavy rain fell on the following day.[118] Porsche's No. 2 car battled Toyota for the win. The No. 1 car required a water pump change and recovered to finish 13th overall. Jani, Lieb and Dumas changed their fuel strategy to match Toyota with 14 laps on track and took Porsche's 18th overall Le Mans victory after the No. 5 Toyota's connector line linking the turbocharger and intercooler failed.[119]

Webber and Bernhard out-qualified Jani and Lieb at the 6 Hours of Nürburgring; they started third and fourth, respectively.[120] Porsche prevailed against Audi by making pit stops during a series of full course yellow flags and passed Jarvis' No. 8 entry. Although a slow puncture put the No. 1 team off strategy, Bernhard overtook his teammate Jani to win after the latter incurred a drive-through penalty for hitting the No. 88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR. The No. 2 car finished fourth after Lotterer's No. 7 Audi passed Jani.[121] At the inaugural 6 Hours of Mexico, Dumas and Jani put the No. 2 car in second, and Hartley and Webber's No. 1 car qualified fourth.[122] The No. 1 car led early in the second hour and maintained it until a drive-through penalty two hours later for crossing the pit entry line after aborting a pit stop. Nonetheless, tyre changes in response to inclement weather conditions allowed Bernhard to win. The No. 2 car was slower and finished fourth after Nicolas Lapierre's No. 36 Signatech Alpine A460 hit Lieb and removed part of the Porsche's rear-left bodywork.[123][124]

For the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas, Bernhard and Hartley's No. 1 car qualified in third and Dumas and Jani's No. 2 car took fifth after Dumas's fastest lap was deleted for a track limits violation.[125] After multiple mechanical problems and driver errors from Audi and the activation of a full course yellow flag with two hours and seven minutes remaining, the No. 1 car won its third race in a row. The No. 2 team lacked its sister vehicle's speed and finished a lap adrift in fourth.[126] At the 6 Hours of Fuji four weeks later, Bernhard and Webber qualified the No. 1 car in second while a handling imbalance left Jani and Dumas's No. 2 car in sixth.[127] The No. 1 car lost a tactical exchange of position to Toyota's No. 6 TS050 Hybrid and fell to third with an aerodynamic and car balance inefficiency. The sister No. 2 vehicle placed fifth after tyre debris in its front bodywork disrupted its aerodynamics and handling and necessitated a replacement after 110 laps.[128]

At the season's penultimate round, the 6 Hours of Shanghai in November, Hartley and Webber claimed the pole position despite Hartley's first lap being nullified for a track limits violation while Lieb and Jani qualified sixth after Lieb's first lap was voided for excess fuel consumption.[129] Hartley lost the lead to Buemi at the start but retook it soon after, and the No. 1 team won to claim Porsche's second consecutive World Endurance Manufacturers' Championship despite a front wing replacement for rubber debris accumulation.[130][131] The No. 2 team lost to Toyota and came fourth.[130] It entered the season-ending 6 Hours of Bahrain 17-points ahead of Toyota's No. 6 team, needing to finish at least fifth if the latter squad finished first to earn Porsche's second consecutive World Drivers' Championship.[132] Hartley and Bernhard's No. 1 entry started second while Jani and Lieb's No. 2 car was third.[133] The No. 1 car held off the No. 5 Toyota to finish third, and the No. 2 Porsche claimed the World Drivers' Championship after finishing three laps down in sixth. as Jani sustained a left-rear puncture and rear bodywork damage from contact with KCMG 's No. 78 Porsche 911 RSR 50 minutes in.[134] Competing with the 919 Hybrid for the third successive season, Porsche accrued 324 points to win the World Manufacturers' Championship.[135] The day after the 6 Hours of Bahrain, 2016 LMP2 champion Gustavo Menezes and driver adviser Yannick Dalmas tested a 919 Hybrid at the post-season rookie test at the Bahrain International Circuit.[136]

2017Edit

After the 2016 season, Lieb and Dumas were dropped from the team, and Webber retired from motor racing.[137] Lieb and Dumas were replaced by Lotterer, who transferred from Audi's discontinued LMP1 project, and Tandy, who was promoted from Porsche's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT operation, to share the No. 1 car with Jani. Bamber moved from Porsche's GT programme to share the No. 2 car with Bernhard and Hartley.[138] Tandy and Jani qualified third at the season-opening 6 Hours of Silverstone while Bernhard and Hartley started fourth.[139] A final late pit stop for fuel put Hartley in the lead, but he lost the win to a pass by Buemi's No. 8 Toyota with 12 minutes remaining; the No. 2 team were 6.173 seconds adrift in second. Tandy led during a brief rain shower in the third hour though the No. 1 car lost position during a pit stop to change from the intermediate compound tyre to slick dry tyres when the weather improved, taking third.[140]

 
The 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans race-winning No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid

Three weeks later in qualifying at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the No. 1 car of Jani and Lotterer earned Porsche's first pole position of the season, and three Toyotas separated Hartley and Bernhard's No. 2 car in fifth after Hartley made an error at the Bus Stop chicane.[141] Hartley recovered from a slow puncture in the third hour to pass Mike Conway's No. 7 Toyota for second place two hours later, but contact with Dumas's No. 36 Singatech Alpine A470 forced the No. 2 Porsche into the pit lane to replace its front-left corner, relegating it to third. Tyre wear restricted the No. 1 car to fourth.[142][143] At Le Mans, Jani and Bernhard set the team's best times in the second qualifying session and started from third and fourth, respectively.[144] The No. 2 Porsche was delayed for 65 minutes and 19 laps because of a front MGU replacement. The No. 1 car took the lead when the No. 7 Toyota retired with a broken clutch during the night. Engine problems in the 21st hour forced Lotterer to retire the No. 1 car. Bernhard's No. 2 car recovered and overtook Ho-Pin Tung's No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 with an hour and seven minutes remaining to take Porsche's third consecutive and 19th overall Le Mans victory.[145][146]

 
Brendon Hartley's No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid battling José María López's No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid at the 2017 6 Hours of Nürburgring

During qualifying for the 6 Hours of Nürburgring a month later, Toyota outpaced Porsche, and Bernhard and Hartley's No. 2 car started second while Jani and Lotterer's No. 1 car started third.[147] Hartley passed José María López's No. 7 Toyota for the lead in the second hour; the two Porsches exchanged the lead several times and controlled the pace.[148] At the last pit stop in the final ten minutes, Porsche invoked team orders to delay Lotterer for 20 seconds, allowing the No. 2 car to win for the second successive race.[149] Bernhard and Hartley's No. 2 car out-qualified Tandy and Lotterer's No. 1 car to take its first pole position of 2017 at the 6 Hours of Mexico.[150] Hartley led Tandy, who fell back when Lotterer took a drive-through penalty for pit lane over-speeding because of a faulty speed limiter. Bamber had a defective FIA-mandated fuel flow sensor replaced at a pit stop. The No. 2 entry won by 7.141 seconds over the sister No. 1 car.[151][152]

Although Tandy's first qualifying lap of the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas was deleted for a track limits transgression, he and Jani were 0.2 seconds faster than Bamber and Bernhard's No. 2 car, and the No. 1 car took the pole position.[153] Porsche won a near race-long battle with Toyota as it made tyre changes at the first pit-stop phase. Later, the No. 1 car was issued team orders to relinquish the lead to Bernhard with eight minutes remaining, and the latter took the No. 2 team's fourth consecutive win by 0.276 seconds.[154] One month later at the 6 Hours of Fuji, Bamber and Hartley took the No. 2 car's second pole position of the season while Lotterer and Tandy qualified the No. 1 car in second.[155] Lotterer damaged the No. 1 car's dive plane against the rear of Buemi's Toyota in the first hour; although it slowed the car, its crew finished the rain-shortened event in third while the No. 2 car finished fourth after not matching Toyota's speed.[156][157]

Entering the 6 Hours of Shanghai, the No. 2 car was 39 points ahead of Toyota's No. 8 car and had to finish at least third to win the marque's third World Endurance Drivers' Championship with one race left in the season.[158] In qualifying, Tandy and Lotterer's No. 1 car took second despite Lotterer's first lap being disallowed for a track limits violation. Bamber and Hartley started fourth after Bamber pirouetted.[159] The No. 2 car was slower than the Toyota, but it finished second to secure the World Endurance Drivers' Championship. The No. 1 car recovered from a faulty throttle sensor for third and took Porsche's third consecutive World Manufacturers' Championship.[160] At the season-closing 6 Hours of Bahrain, Tandy and Jani's No. 1 car took the pole position, and Bernhard and Hartley's No. 2 car was third.[161] The following day, a trackside bollard got lodged underneath the No. 2 vehicle's front bodywork, and Bernhard lost 80 seconds in the pit lane but he recovered to second place. Jani lost first to Buemi in the first hour, and Tandy damaged his left-front corner in lapping Nick Foster's No. 86 Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR in the fourth hour, earning him a drive-through penalty, but the No. 1 car placed third.[162][163] Competing with the 919 Hybrid for the fourth successive season, Porsche won the World Endurance Manufacturers' Championship with 337 points.[164]

Retirement from competitionEdit

During the post-season rookie test session at the Bahrain International Circuit, the day after the 6 Hours of Bahrain, a 919 Hybrid was driven by the 2017 World Series Formula V8 3.5 champion Pietro Fittipaldi, who shared it with Bernhard.[165] Afterwards, Porsche ended the 919 Hybrid programme to concentrate on the all-electric single-seater Formula E championship in the 2019–20 season but increased its commitment to its global GT programmes.[166]

Porsche 919 EvoEdit

On 11 April 2018, Porsche revealed an evolution of the 919 Hybrid. It broke the lap record of the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps with a lap time of 1 minute and 41.77 seconds, with Jani behind the wheel. It was 0.783 seconds faster than the four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton's qualification lap at the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix, previously posting 1 minute and 42.553 seconds in a Formula One car, the Mercedes AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+.[167] Jani was more than 12 seconds faster than the standard 919 Hybrid's 2017 pole position lap of 1 minute and 54.097 seconds. During the lap, Jani recorded a speed trap at 359 km/h (223.1 mph) on the Kemmel Straight, with an average speed of 245.61 km/h (152.6 mph).[168][169]

The V4 engine was retained for the Evo, producing 720 PS (530 kW; 710 hp) without fuel flow restrictions. As the amount of recovered energy that could be used was increased from 6.37 MJ (1.77 kWh) for Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to 8.49 megajoules (2.36 kWh), the output of the electric motors was increased from 400 to 440 PS (294 to 324 kW; 395 to 434 hp). By removing air conditioning, windscreen wipers, headlights and other electrical devices, the car's weight was reduced by 39 kg (86 lb); it weighed at 849 kg (1,872 lb) dry and 888 kg (1,958 lb) with driver ballast. Extensive aerodynamic upgrades to the 919 Evo increased downforce by 53% and increased aerodynamic efficiency by 66%, compared to the 919 Hybrid's 2017 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps qualifying specifications. These upgrades consist of the inclusion of an active drag-reduction system, an enlarged rear wing, a wider front diffuser and fixed-height side skirts.[167][168][169][170]

Through 2018, 919 Evo participated in demonstration runs as part of the "919 Tribute Tour" at the Nürburgring Nordschleife for the 2018 24 Hours of Nürburgring, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June, for the Festival of Porsche at Brands Hatch and at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca as part of Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI.[168][169] On 29 June, Porsche ran the 919 Evo on the Nürburgring, and Bernhard recorded a lap time of 5 minutes and 19.546 seconds, breaking the May 1983 record of 6 minutes and 11.13 seconds set by Stefan Bellof in a Porsche 956.[171]

Complete World Endurance Championship resultsEdit

Races in bold indicate starting from the pole position. Races in italics indicate fastest lap. Each small number denotes the finishing position.

(For more information about the legend, click here.)

Year Entrant Class Drivers No. Rounds Pts. Pos.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
2014 Porsche Team LMP1-H Romain Dumas
Neel Jani
Marc Lieb
14 SIL
Ret
SPA
4
LMS
4
COA
4
FUJ
4
SHA
3
BHR
2
SÃO
1
193 3rd
Timo Bernhard
Brendon Hartley
Mark Webber
20 SIL
3
SPA
12
LMS
NC
COA
5
FUJ
3
SHA
6
BHR
3
SÃO
Ret
2015 Porsche Team LMP1 Timo Bernhard
Brendon Hartley
Mark Webber
17 SIL
Ret
SPA
3
LMS
2
NÜR
1
COA
1
FUJ
1
SHA
1
BHR
5
344 1st
Romain Dumas
Neel Jani
Marc Lieb
18 SIL
2
SPA
2
LMS
5
NÜR
2
COA
5
FUJ
2
SHA
2
BHR
1
Earl Bamber
Nico Hülkenberg
Nick Tandy
19 SPA
6
LMS
1
2016 Porsche Team LMP1 Timo Bernhard
Brendon Hartley
Mark Webber
1 SIL
Ret
SPA
4
LMS
5
NÜR
1
MEX
1
COA
1
FUJ
3
SHA
1
BHR
3
324 1st
Romain Dumas
Neel Jani
Marc Lieb
2 SIL
1
SPA
2
LMS
1
NÜR
4
MEX
4
COA
4
FUJ
5
SHA
4
BHR
6
2017 Porsche LMP Team LMP1 Neel Jani
Nick Tandy
André Lotterer
1 SIL
3
SPA
4
LMS
Ret
NÜR
2
MEX
2
COA
2
FUJ
3
SHA
3
BHR
3
337 1st
Timo Bernhard
Brendon Hartley
Earl Bamber
2 SIL
2
SPA
3
LMS
1
NÜR
1
MEX
1
COA
1
FUJ
4
SHA
2
BHR
2

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The No. 14 car's overall victory was Porsche's first in world endurance prototype motor racing since 1989 and the first since the manufacturer competed with the RS Spyder in the American Le Mans Series.[76]
  2. ^ It was Porsche's 13th Manufacturers' Championship in endurance racing and its first title since Derek Bell won the 1986 World Sportscar Championship.[102]

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