The Ultimate Track Car
Last decade saw one of the most ridiculous track cars ever made... Oh and yes, it was faster than an F1 car.
After Porsche retired their 919 lineup at the end of 2017, the 919 didn’t see its last track outing. On the 11th April 2018, the most ridiculous track car ever made was revealed, the Porsche 919 Evo. The 919 Evo retained most of the parts from the regular 919 but with one change, no restrictions.
Porsche quoted, “the entire hardware of the powertrain remains untouched” meaning it retained the 2 litre, turbocharged V4 engine producing 720PS or 710HP now without the fuel flow restrictions, and for the electric engine the output was increased from 395HP to 434HP. More boost could be used, at Spa the 919 Evo could use 8.49MJ of boost compared to the original 6.37MJ. It was also stripped of many electrical devices needed in the original 919 such as window wipers, headlights, air conditioning and more. Without the added driver ballast of 39kg the 919 Evo now weighed 849kg (888kg with ballast). One of the bigger changes was the aerodynamics, with the new enlarged rear wing, side skirts, wider front diffuser and the newly added active drag-reduction system. These made an impressive downforce improvement of 53% and the aerodynamic efficiency was also up largely by 66%.
Although the 919 Evo wasn’t meant to race it’s surely one of the most impressive performers on the track in the last decade, it was even faster than the F1 cars. It broke the Spa-Francorchamps lap record with a 1:41.77 driven by Neel Jani. The lap set was over 12 seconds faster than the poll lap set by a Porsche 919 in 2017 of 1:54.1 and more impressively was nearly 8 tenths of a second faster than Lewis Hamilton’s poll lap in the W07 that year. On the kemmel straight the 919 Evo was able to reach an astounding 223mph and averaged 153mph in the whole lap.
Nürburgring Nordschliefe Record
You thought the Spa-Francorchamps record was impressive, now listen to this. Back on June 29th 2018, Timo Bernhard (5 time Nürburgring 24 Hour winner and 2 time Le Mans 24 Hours outright winner) stepped into the 919 Evo on some say the most dangerous track in the world. Where on the 13 miles of Green Hell he smashed the record of the previous Stefan Bellof (whose record stood for just over 35 years) with 5 minutes and 20 seconds, which is near enough 52 seconds faster then Bellofs time he set in practice of the 1000km of Nürburgring back in 1983 with a 620HP Porsche 956. Bellof averaged 125mph round the whole circuit while Bernhard averaged 145mph but overall reached a top speed of 229mph.
The 919 Evo was also taken to Brands Hatch Indy Circuit where this time it‘d be driven by Nick Tandy who is also a Le Mans winner. In 2004, Scott Mansell set a 38.032 in the Benetton B197. However Porsche weren’t making a proper attempt to beat the record, the car wasn’t meant for the track and it wasn’t using the rubber it normally used, in addition Tandy hadn’t sat in the 919 Evo prior to when he did. The 919 Evo didn’t end up breaking the record anyway, but even with the car not being rightly made for Brands Hatch it still set a lap of 38.16 seconds, that’s just over a tenth of a second between the 2 times. One of the most important things Tandy quoted however was, “The thing is, by the time you’ve done the out lap the tyre is gone. If we had the race tyres then we’d be in the 35s”.