Porsche’s modified 919 Hybrid LMP1 has broken the unofficial lap record at Spa as part of its 919 Tribute Tour.
Porsche works driver Neel Jani lapped the 7.004 kilometre long Belgian Grand Prix Circuit in the Ardennes mountains in 1:41.770 minutes, beating Lewis Hamilton’s 2017 F1 pole time of 1m42.553s – the official fastest time set by a car around the cirrent 4.352-mile configuration..
The 34 year old Swiss has beaten the previous record by 0.783 seconds that was set by Lewis Hamilton (GB) at the wheel of a Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid. Hamilton’s lap of 1:42.553 minutes dates back to August 26 in 2017 and secured him pole position for last year’s F1 race. Jani achieved a top speed of 359 km/h and an average speed of 245.61 km/h on his record lap that he started at 10:23 hrs. Ambient temperature was 11° Celsius, track temperature was 13° Celsius.
This was an absolute fantastic lap – an outstanding drivers’ performance from Neel and the result of great engineering”, said Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.
“Today’s track record impressively proves the ultimate performance of the most innovative race car of its time. Our target was to show what the Porsche 919 Hybrid is able to do when we loosen the restrictions that normally come from the regulations.”
“This additional success is the result of the LMP team’s hard work and a proud day for the engineers”, added Team Principal Andreas Seidl.
“One can only congratulate Neel and the entire crew for achieving it. All six 2017 LMP1 drivers contributed to the project. It was our target to show the Porsche 919 Hybrid’s abilities when we ease the restrictions that came from the World Endurance Championship regulations.”
With the 919 Hybrid, Porsche has won the Le Mans 24-Hours from 2015 to 2017 three times in a row as well as the world champion titles for both, manufacturers and drivers, in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) during the same years.
Neel Jani: “The 919 Evo is brutally impressive. It is definitely the fastest car I ever drove. The grip level is at a fully new dimension for me, I couldn’t imagine this amount beforehand. The speed on which everything happens on a single lap with the 919 Evo is that fast that the demand on reaction speed is very different to what I was used to in the WEC.
“”We are not only faster than the F1 pole from 2017. Today’s lap was twelve seconds faster compared to our WEC pole position from last year! We have had three very intense days at Spa. Today I knew on the very first lap in the morning that the car’s performance was super. The race engineers did a great job setting up the car and the Michelin tyres are sensational. A big thank you to Porsche for this experience.”
The 919 Evo can next be seen of the Nurburgring 24 Hours in May, the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, at Brands Hatch in September and at Laguna Seca in October.
Image: Porsche Motorsport
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