Many of you will remember the Porsche GT4 e-Performance‘s debut at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed (see photo below). As part of the Porsche GT4 e-Performance World Tour, the all-electric test vehicle took center stage at two show runs on the iconic high-speed track in New York state. With thick clouds hanging over Watkins Glen after the IMSA Michelin Pilot practice session, the 800 kW (1,088 PS) Porsche GT4 e-Performance stands fully charged, its 80 kWh battery ready for action in the brief time window of 20 minutes. While awaiting the arrival of Jörg Bergmeister, the scheduled driver whose flight from Germany was delayed due to inclement weather, Austrian driver Klaus Bachler seizes the opportunity to conduct the first drives with a smile.
“Go time” for Klaus
Exhilarated, Bachler embarks on a captivating drive around the 5.472-kilometer former Formula One circuit, leaving the sizable crowd in awe of the powerful whistling sound as the electric racing car swiftly tears down the start-finish straight. The car’s performance impresses the marshals stationed at turn five (the Outer Loop), who eagerly await the spectacle. Witnessing the impressive speed, one marshal exclaims, “That thing has more than 1,000 PS? That’s unbelievable!” Another, with excitement, takes out a stopwatch, eager to gauge the car’s capabilities.
Bachler navigates through the chicane before turn five, thrilling the engrossed marshals as they observe the stopwatch ticking away. With each lap, the Michelin tires, crafted from 63% recycled materials, build up heat and traction, resulting in faster lap times. After just four laps, the time is already down to 1:47, leaving everyone amazed at the GT4 e-Performance‘s capabilities.
Take 2: The Bergmeister
Returning for its second demonstration drive on Sunday, between the warm-up and the race, the GT4 e-Performance continues to impress, drawing an even larger crowd, including Jörg Bergmeister, who shares in the excitement. Bergmeister reflects, “A total of eight laps at Watkins Glen. It was awesome. My fastest lap was 1:47.7. But that was far from the limit. It can go even faster.” The Porsche brand ambassador acknowledges that the GT4 e-Performance’s performance is comparable to the current generation of Cup cars.
Oliver Schwab, Project Manager for the Porsche GT4 e-Performance World Tour, expresses delight in the project’s success, with the fans’ enthusiasm, series organizers’ interest, and media attention all indicating positive outcomes. The demo drives at Watkins Glen have undoubtedly been a triumph.
Next stop: Pebble Beach CA
The show is set to continue, with the GT4 e-Performance taking part in the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach in August, followed by appearances at the Rennsport Reunion in Laguna Seca. Another GT4 e-Performance car, featured during the festivities celebrating 75 Years of Porsche Sports Cars at Hockenheim, will embark on a tour through Asia before reaching Australia, culminating in planned show runs on the legendary Bathurst circuit.