Bahrain was the last race for PORSCHE in the WEC. Very sad to see that they are taking the same way as Audi. But in this article I want to focus more on the last 4 years PORSCHE was in the World Endrucane Series.
The manufacture showed the car for the first time but it had still the typical black white camouflage to hide the exact design of the car. But the name was clear: PORSCHE 919 hybrid. The name stands for the tradition to the Le Mans winning 917 but also for the the PORSCHE 918 and the new hybrid era that is beginning at PORSCHE. The six drivers were Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber, Neel Jani, Romian Dumas, Timo Bernhard and Marc Lieb.
The 919 made its first deput at the 6 hours of Silverstone. The car with the #20 (Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber) finished behind the two Toyota TS040 Hybrids. #14 ( Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb) was forced out of the race after thirty laps. At Le Mans #14 ended up in 4th place and #20 a non-classified finish. In the remaining season PORSCHE won just the 6 hours of Sao Paulo with the #14. Although this was the first WEC season for the team from Zuffenhausen they landed on a respectable third place in the Championship ranking.
Second season for PORSCHE. The car was equipped with approximately 85%-90% new parts. They moved also from the 6 Mega Joule subclass to the 8MJ subclass. And for the first time they used three cars during the Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans race. The third car was driven by Earl Bamber, Nico Hülkenberg and Nick Tandy. These three guys won also the 24h of Le Mans with the Nr. 19 car ahead of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber with the #17 sister car. This was the first Le Mans win for PORSCHE after 1998. The german team took also the drivers and constructors championship title.
Every part from the 919 hybrid has been updated, according to PORSCHE self. ,,The car is an evolution not a revolution’’, said PORSCHE team chef Andreas Seidl. These updates paid off in the first race were the #2 took the race win at Silverstone. This year’s 24h race in Le Mans was a thriller nobody has expected. Toyota led almost the entire race until the #5 TS050 Hybrid was forced to stop 3 minutes and 20 seconds before race end. Neel Jani passed Kazuki Nakajima in the last lap of the race and took the 18th Le Mans victory. The #6 Toyota landed on place 2 and Audi with the #8 on third place. The PORSCHE #1 had some technical issues during the race and landed only on the 13th place. From the remaining 6 WEC races PORSCHE won 4 of them and the overall constructors and drivers championship.
Last season for PORSCHE in the WEC. In this season Nick Tandy was replaced by André Lotterer. He came from Audi as they leaved the WEC. PORSCHE didn’t won a race until they came to Le Mans. This year’s 24h race was like last year’s race very breathtaking. Two of the three Toyotas and the #1 PORSCHE had some technical issues that forced them to take the cars out of the race. The #2 PORSCHE had to change the hybrid unity in the early stages of the race and lost 18 rounds up to the leader of the race. The first time in history a LMP2 racecar led the race over hours until the #2 PORSCHE overtook the racecar from the raceteam Jackie Chan DC Racing and won the 24h of Le mans for the 19th time. The german team won also for the third time in a row the drivers and constructors championship title.