Connect with us

FIA WEC

Jani Breaks Spa Track Record in Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo

Neel Jani breaks previous Spa track lap record in Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo…

Photo: Porsche

Porsche’s 919 Hybrid Evo achieved its first record, with Neel Jani breaking the outright lap record at Spa-Francorchamps that was held by a Formula 1 car.

On Monday, the Swiss driver lapped the 4.35-mile Grand Prix circuit in 1:41.770, eclipsing Lewis Hamilton’s pole-winning time of 1:42.553 time set in a Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid last year.

The record-breaking run came at the wheel of a modified Porsche LMP1 car, as part of its “919 Tribute Tour” that will include include outings at the Nürburgring, Goodwood, Brands Hatch as well as Porsche’s Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca later this year.

“The 919 Evo is brutally impressive,” Jani said. “It is definitely the fastest car I ever drove.

“The grip level is at a fully new dimension for me, I couldn’t imagine this amount beforehand. The speed on which everything happens on a single lap with the 919 Evo is that fast that the demand on reaction speed is very different to what I was used to in the WEC.”

Jani’s lap was not only quicker than the F1 pole, but some 12 seconds faster than Stephane Sarrazin’s fastest time from WEC qualifying at the Belgian circuit last year.

“This additional success is the result of the LMP team’s hard work and a proud day for the engineers,” said team principal Andreas Seidl. “One can only congratulate Neel and the entire crew for achieving it.

“All six 2017 LMP1 drivers contributed to the project. It was our target to show the Porsche 919 Hybrid’s abilities when we ease the restrictions that came from the World Endurance Championship regulations.”

The car features significant aero modifications from the base 919 Hybrid that Porsche had developed in anticipation for the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship season, prior to the German manufacturer’s decision to withdraw from the series.

It includes a larger front diffuser and rear wing, along with the addition of DRS, modified turning vanes and floor, which has combined to provide a 53 percent increase in downforce.

While maintaining the same powertrain configuration, the V4 turbo engine now produces 720 horsepower, without the use of the WEC-mandated fuel flow meter, and a 10 percent increase in electric power, courtesy of an unrestricted energy recovery system.

Jani’s lap saw the Porsche run to a full boost of 8.49 MJ, achieving a top speed of 223 mph and average speed of 152 mph.

The car’s overall weight has also been reduced by 39 kg to 849 kg, with a four-wheel brake-by-wire system also installed, along with specially developed Michelin tires.

Mitas: An “Engineer’s Dream Come True”

Porsche’s LMP1 chief race engineer, Stephen Mitas, said the 919 Hybrid Evo’s development has been a “dream come true.”

“Having developed, improved and raced the car for four years, the guys had a very close relationship to it,” he said. “We all knew, no matter how successful the 919 Hybrid was, it could never show its full abilities.

“Actually even the Evo version doesn’t fully exploit the technical potential. This time we were not limited by regulations but resources.

“It is a very satisfying feeling that what we’ve done to the car was enough to crack the Formula 1 record.”

‘919 Tribute Tour’ Schedule

At least four more outings with the car are planned this year, with a demo lap on the Nürburgring Nordschleife scheduled next, prior to the start of the 24-hour race on May 12. 

The car will also make appearances at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, the Festival of Porsche at Brands Hatch in September, as well as the Rennsport Reunion at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sept. 26-29.

Photo: Porsche

Photo: Porsche

Photo: Porsche

Photo: Porsche

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. Eric

    April 9, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Imagine 20 of those cars battling. Oh My F#cking God.

  2. Change it up

    April 9, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Anddddd that’s why we have BOP people.

    • The Esses

      April 9, 2018 at 3:16 pm

      you mean why we shouldn’t?

  3. DB

    April 9, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    I can’t wait to see this beast in action at Laguna Seca later this year.

  4. Porch? Porker? Idk

    April 9, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    it’s like a modern 917/30

    • Max

      April 9, 2018 at 1:58 pm

      I was going to post the same thing. What an awesome car. They should take it around Talledega to tackle the outright closed course speed record.

      • Harry Manback

        April 9, 2018 at 2:54 pm

        Right. Because when I think “Porsche”, “Talladega” is the first thing that comes to mind.. . . . . . . .

        • Skip

          April 9, 2018 at 3:00 pm

          Well, Mark Donohue did run and achieve a closed course speed record at Talladega, in 1975 with the Porsche 917/30.

      • FlyingLobster27

        April 9, 2018 at 3:57 pm

        Forget Talladega, is the nearly 8-mile long oval at Nardo still open?

        Answers own question: not only does it still exist, but PORSCHE OWNS IT.

        • Matt

          April 9, 2018 at 4:55 pm

          Forget all that. I can’t believe everyone missed it!?? Are they going to go after the Nordschleife track record??

          • FlyingLobster27

            April 10, 2018 at 1:21 am

            Sure, in any case try the Nordschleife too, but Max above referred to absolute speed records on closed circuits. VW set the 24-hour speed record at Nardo in 2001, perhaps Porsche can make an extreme low-drag kit to go after that benchmark.

  5. Dave

    April 9, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    The pictures seem to be flawed as their should be a trail a flaming tire marks behind that thing. The last year of each homologation period should feature a Le Mans only Evo edition from each manufacturer showing off the best they can build without one hand tied behind their backs.Porsche knows how to put on a show.

  6. Matt K

    April 9, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Video?

  7. someone

    April 9, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    I want in car video of these runs so badly.

  8. Anonymous

    April 9, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Hey! ACO are you watching? New regs for more cars like this hero please!

  9. AM

    April 9, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Wonder what the cost of this vs. their full LMP1 program was…

    • Max

      April 9, 2018 at 1:58 pm

      I would have a hard time believing that t was too much more since they were working from the base LMP1 design. A clean sheet version of this woukd likely be ar F1 cost levels.

      • Matt

        April 9, 2018 at 9:09 pm

        The 919 already was at F1 levels of cost

  10. juneracer

    April 9, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    likely have trouble keeping tires under it for a long run. bet its has a short life expectancy on the power train… nice piece of kit though…

  11. The Esses

    April 9, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Couldn’t they have just run one more race instead? 😉

    • Tackslimits

      April 10, 2018 at 8:25 am

      Yes they could. But that would have probably lost to Toyota because their car was quiker all the time the last two years (just not reliable enough) and that would have ruined their hattrick at LeMans (at what you pointed at I guess?).
      This is excellent for their marketing, even more than the whole WEC-effort was, as this goes around the world, surely will be mentioned at least till the F1 breaks this record and everybody will know Porsche builds damn fast cars (with a great racing record). while a simple WEC season on the other hand isn`t really on the screen of anybody besides a few petrolheads (like us) who are crazy enough to watch 24hs of people driving their asses of.
      Toyota has to think wtf? They stopped racing and still get way more (possitive) media with their car than we ever had…
      shame, but thats how it works (and always had)

  12. UseThreePedals

    April 9, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    What got me is it’s actually attractive! These days, endurance racers and F1 cars are looking like someone beats them daily with an ugly stick!

    • Morningview66

      April 10, 2018 at 2:06 am

      I think it’s because at has a sloping nose and swooping curves.

      The problem with modern sportscars at last is that regs/aero means they have high square fenders/lightboxes with low noses which make them look blocky and ugly.

      • JG

        April 10, 2018 at 10:29 am

        Exactly.

      • Haskellb

        April 11, 2018 at 12:25 am

        They don’t have to deal with those stupid cut outs over the wheels so they can maximize aero.

    • MikeT66

      April 10, 2018 at 6:34 am

      Yes, much better looking – but that’s not a hard thing to achieve – in general, all the LMP1 cars are pretty damned ugly when compared with the swooping curves of the old heroes like Ford GT40s, Porsche 917/956/962, and the Group C cars. That ‘fin’ is still a weeping sore on the overall design, though.

      • Steven

        April 10, 2018 at 5:16 pm

        Wouldn’t the 917/956, 962, Group C still fall under the prototype category even though it wasn’t classified at the time. Those were all purpose built race cars and not sports cars turned race cars like the 60’s Ferrari’s, Ford’s, etc…

        • MikeT66

          April 12, 2018 at 1:41 am

          The ACO wanted to encourage manufacturers back to Le Mans after World War II, so introduced the ‘Prototype’ category. This required only a limited number of cars to be built to qualify for entry – hence cars like the Jaguar C- and D-Types, Ferrari 250 GTO and Ford GT40 were all, in fact, prototypes. (Ford actually fell out with initial co-designer Eric Broadley (Lola cars) as his idea of a prototype was a pure-bred protoype racecar – Ford wanted it made of thicker steel so they could make a road car out of it, too, resulting in it being too heavy for Broadley’s plans.) I think the Porsche 908 and subsequent 917 changed it all – these were the first real ‘prototypes’ that had no real design or aim to ever be road cars.
          I stopped being overly interested in the top tier of Sportscars after the Group C days – the McLaren F1 GTR was a glorious last light in the series – as I prefer sportscars to have some resemblance to proper road-going cars.

  13. DB

    April 9, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    I wonder how the engineers felt when Porsche green lit this project. Must of had them watering at the mouths to be given full freedom to go make it as fast as possible.

  14. Pierre

    April 9, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Bring it to pikes peak

  15. Brennan D. Houran

    April 9, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Obviously this comment has bias in it as I live near, and frequently commute to Lime Rock, but wouldn’t it be awesome, although very dangerous, for it to break the Lime Rock lap record of 43.112 seconds set by P.J. Jones in Dan Gurney’s All American Racers’ Toyota Eagle Mk III GTP. While it’s pointless, I vote for this car to come to Lime Rock Park.

    • Jose

      April 9, 2018 at 9:41 pm

      I’d be more interested to see how fast a bulldozer could go around Lime Rock. Or more importantly how fast could it bury the track and commit it to memory. Thus freeing up a slot on the IMSA schedule for say well literally anywhere else. The roval at Kansas or Charlotte would be a vast improvement.

  16. JG

    April 10, 2018 at 12:10 am

    This would break 3 minutes at Le Mans, although an unrestricted/modified TS010, C11 or 905 would do that too while looking and sounding a hell of a lot better…

  17. gt1

    April 10, 2018 at 12:54 am

    hideous car

  18. EN

    April 10, 2018 at 10:41 am

    The 1971 Spa-Francorchamps 1000km was won with an average speed of 249 kph = 156 mph.
    The fastest lap ever recorded at Spa-Francorchamps was set by Henri Pescarolo in 1973 in a 3-litre 450 bhp Matra at an average speed of 262 kph = 164 mph, in the actual 1000 km race of that year!
    Newas for times of electric 4wd cars, that do not comply to the actual racing rules for this series, and only ran there for marketing purposes, is as interesting as a bycicle fell over somwhere in China last week.

    • JML

      April 10, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Yea, both of those records were set on the old Spa that was a higher speed circuit.

      Try again.

  19. Mazda Greg

    April 10, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Just beautiful.

  20. Bwangi Kilonzo

    April 10, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    I just would like to see an LMP1 vs DPi race at Le Mans.. Unrestricted.. but Europeans are afraid…

  21. RobertB

    April 10, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    I love everything about this. Doing it just cuz. Awesome. I know it costs a fortune with no real benefits, but I would love it if all the DPi cars all met one day at the track in the off season with unrestricted cars. Let’s see how fast these babies can go and have a few beers after.

  22. JG

    April 10, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    I want to see a TS010 Evo. Use the Menard Superleague 4.2 V12 tuned to 1000 hp, drop weight to 675 kilos, totally free underbody with all the current turning vane tech, active suspension, AWD, current tires, SA gearbox. L/D of 10+ and it would wipe the floor with the 919 Evo all while sounding and looking a million times better.

    • Matt

      April 10, 2018 at 7:15 pm

      This car would be much faster if they actually developed it. They had a tiny budget to modify the car, the drivetrain is totally stock for example. Simple aero changes and no fuel flow limit and they found 12 seconds at Spa. That’s bonkers.

  23. Wyxts

    April 12, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Nurburgring Nordscheleife…
    The 919 evo will either crash at there or set a time under 5 mins.
    Cant wait to find out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in FIA WEC