Motorsports has always been a big part in the history of Porsche. Knowledge, experience, and technology developed here transfers into their production sports cars, giving them their reputation for building some of the greatest driver’s cars on the market. The future for Porsche Motorsport is bright with its two new stars that will be competing in their respective classes for the 2014 season.
The headliner of the Porsche Motorsport program is the new 919 Hybrid. The LMP1-spec racer will compete in the upcoming 2014 World Endurance Championships (WEC) season along with the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.
The new Porsche 919 Hybrid is a rolling test lab utilizing the most advanced technology Porsche has ever developed. Efficiency is the name of the game here, with a 2.0-liter V-4 engine boasts mono-turbocharging, direct fuel injection, and works as a load-bearing part of the chassis being the main piece of the powerplant. The engine alone produces about 500 horsepower and spins at speeds up to 9,000 RPM. Working with the combustion engine, are two energy recovery systems. An advanced electric generator is driven by the exhaust gasses to recover thermal energy. The other system is similar to that of the 918 Spyder and converts kinetic energy at the front axle into electric energy. The energy gained from the two systems is stored in a pair of Lithium-ion batteries and can be accessed by the driver to power an electric motor at the front axle, temporarily making the 919 Hybrid an all-wheel drive racer.
“Crucial in the development of the Le Mans prototype were the newly created and revolutionary racing rules for this class as they relate to energy efficiency,” said Matthias Müller, Chairman of Porsche AG. “In 2014, it will not be the fastest car that wins the World Endurance Championship series and the 24 hours of Le Mans, rather it will be the car that goes the furthest with a defined amount of energy. And it is precisely this challenge that carmakers must overcome. The 919 Hybrid is our fastest mobile research laboratory and the most complex race car that Porsche has ever built.”
Porsche Motorsport assembled a team of over 200 to design, develop, build, and support the new Porsche 919 Hybrid sport prototypes. “Within two and one half years we built the infrastructure, assembled our team and put this highly complex race car on wheels,” said Friedrich Enzinger, Head of LMP1. “We have the greatest respect for the lead our competitors have in racing experience. Our objective in the first year is simple: to finish races and be competitive.”
The driver lineup for the No. 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid will be Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Marc Lieb (Germany). In the other No. 20 car, Timo Bernhard (Germany), Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) and Mark Webber (Australia) will be behind the wheel.
Alongside the Porsche 919 Hybrid at the Geneva Motor Show is the Porsche 919 RSR. While it may not have the same tech as its LMP1 sibling, it is the core of Porsche Motorsport. The seventh-generation model focuses on intelligent lightweight design and refined aerodynamics. Its 470-horsepower flat-six engine already finished first and second in-class in the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans and a class victory at the 2014 24 Hours of Daytona. Porsche’s second factory-backed team, Porsche Team Manthey, will compete in the 2014 WEC series with two cars driven by Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Patrick Pilet (France), while Richard Lietz (Austria) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) joining the team for the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The upcoming WEC season will surely be exciting with the added competition from Porsche Motorsport with the 919 Hybrid and 911 RSR. You can also follow Porsche Motorsport on Twitter via @PorscheRaces.
Porsche 919 Hybrid and 911 RSR Gallery