Porsche has been no stranger to World Endurance Championship (WEC) and LeMans in particular, just 3-years after re-entering the World Endurance Championship in 2013, the team has achieved an amazing feat. It finished its first year’s Championship in 3rd place, followed by winning the Championship in both 2015 and 2016 with the Porsche 919 Hybrid. The 2017 season of Championship has seen quite a bit of regulation changes with the Dimensions of the LeMans Prototype 1 (LMP1), being reduced so as to reduce the cornering speeds of the cars as the emphasis on safety increases
The cars are also allowed to use only 2 Aerodynamic Packages as compared to 3 of last year, for keeping the costs low. The previous saw teams use 3 Aerodynamic Packages, one with the least drag for fast circuits like LeMans and one with the most drag for circuits with fast corners and one with intermediate balance of drag and speed.
The New Porsche 919 Hybrid has essentially been an evolution of the previous year’s car, though 60 to 70 percentage of the vehicle has been developed newly. The Monocoque Chassis has essentially remained the same, but the Aerodynamics of the cars has gone through quite a bit of transformation with bigger and wider wheel arches, a redesigned rear air intake, making the front end of the car less aerodynamically sensitive, as the last year’s car suffered some balance problems with the build up of rubber on the front part.
The Engine and the energy recovery system have also been made more efficient, with the 2017 Porsche 919 Hybrid Sporting a Turbocharged 2-litre V4 engine, producing a walloping 500HP, in what Porsche calls as its most efficient engine to date and the electric motor driving the front axle sporting an electric motor developing 400HP fully powered by the on board Energy Recovery System.
The Energy Recovery System basically consists of the KERS which functions at a staggering 80% efficiency now and there is also a considerable amount of energy recovery through the exhaust gasses. So about 60%of the battery power comes from the KERS system and the exhaust gasses recovery produces the other 40%. So even with the restrictive regulations, Porsche 919 Hybrid is claimed to be 3-4 seconds a lap faster as compared to the outgoing, which is a staggering achievement from Porsche. Though its cousin brother(Audi R18) will be dearly missed this year, the Porsche 919 Hybrid hopes to carry on the legacy of the German Engineering in World Endurance Championship. If you look carefully you will even be able to spot its cousin’s (Audi R18) Heritage hidden away inside its fiercely designed body.