The Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo has arrived at the Porsche Museum – but not by trailer or under the cover of darkness. Instead, this 1160 HP ultimate version of the 919 drove to Zuffenhausen during Thursday morning’s rush-hour, past houses, shops and commuters, with tribe leader Mark Webber at the wheel.
After a tribute tour to end all tribute tours, the record-breaker made its final journey in convoy with a second 919 Hybrid Le Mans prototype driven by Marc Lieb, along the public, 25km route from Porsche’s research and development centre in Weissach to Porscheplatz 1.
“It was kind of crazy but fun to handle the beast in public traffic in Germany. It’s typical of Porsche to try to manage something cool like this,” said Webber, after delivering the prized possession to the museum in his red and black 2015 WEC race suit. “The 919 and the years in the FIA World Endurance Championship mean a lot to me. It was an honour to bring the 919 Evo home now.”
The ultimate development of the 919, the Evo was driven by Neel Jani when it broke Formula One’s qualifying record at Spa-Francorchamps in April 2018, before Timo Bernhard took the driving seat to smash the track record at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in June.
Part of the museum's welcome ceremony for the two cars – which share a total output of 2000 hp – was a reading from a special new book “Legendary – The Porsche 919 Hybrid Project”, which will hit bookshelves in December.
Local boy Lieb, who won the Le Mans 24 Hours and the world championship with the 919 in 2016, drove the second Porsche 919 Hybrid to the museum in the spec it raced in in the WEC.
“Today’s drive was a very nice finale for Porsche, the 919 and for me personally,” he said. “Every day I take parts of this route from my house in Ludwigsburg to get to work in the Weissach office. I’m usually in my Cayenne, but from now on I will always remember how it looked from the 919’s much lower seat position.”
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1, handed over the cars to Achim Stejskal, the Porsche Museum’s director, and thanked the local authorities for enabling the 919’s “final business trip”.
“For the entire team this move-in to the museum marks the end of a very special era. Three Le Mans victories and a total of six world championship titles from 2015 to 2017 with the successful record attempts at Spa and at the Nordschleife in 2018 being the icing on the cake – you just cannot ask for more. The team and I would like to say a big thank you to the executive board and to the Porsche and Piëch families for their great support.”
Team Principal Andreas Seidl added: “With the 919 Hybrid project we could explore the fields of technology for Porsche and showcase the performance that modern hybrid technology provides ... The last miles on public roads now close the LMP1 chapter for us and we turn the page: Porsche faces the new challenge of e-mobility for road going and racing cars. We received very positive feedback for our Formula E entrance at the end of 2019. This is an extra boost of motivation to once again search for the limits.”
The new book ‘Legendary’, and an accompanying coffee-table volume of photos, is filled with the incredible experiences and achievements of the LMP1 team, who returned to WEC and Le Mans in 2014 after the introduction of revolutionary new regulations. The two titles (ISBN 978-3-667-11554-6) will be available in English and German languages from the Porsche Museum.