Taking the Porsche 919 Hybrid around the world – Logistics Part III
#18 #17 #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team at Le Mans 24H, 2015
Following a fifteen-year absence from the top tier of prototype racing on the world stage, Porsche officially returned to the LMP1 class in 2014 with the 919 Hybrid race car. Preparing a race car like the Porsche 919 Hybrid at Le Mans was no simple task, and so we have explored what was needed in this feature, Logistics Part III.
The way the WEC was set up when the Porsche 919 Hybrid entered the fray in 2014, saw a class structure where only the big motor manufacturers played in the top class, such as Audi, Porsche and Toyota. Nissan tried but failed. This class was known as LMP1-H. Race cars in this class were the result of a huge amount of investment, testing and manpower just to get the car to a race-ready position. Added to this was the mandated introduction of hybrid technology which was astronomically expensive and required vast teams of specialists to perfect. Located just below this class was the privateer class LMP1-L, where private teams entered their race cars that used a manufacturer’s engine such as Toyota, but did not require the huge investment that a hybrid car attracted. These race cars were faster than the LMP2 class cars, one level down, and had to meet certain performance criteria such that they slotted in, performance-wise, between the LMP1-H and LMP2 classes.
Generating hybrid power
In the 2016 Le Mans race, a sizeable 32.11 gigabytes of data were transmitted to the pits from car #2 during the 24 hours. For 327 of the 384 laps, the #2 car was able to proceed at full race pace, while on the other 57 laps, either the safety car was on track or a slow-zone was in place. The Porsche 919 Hybrid recuperated and used 2.22 kWh (8 megajoule) of energy per lap at Le Mans in 2016. If this system was a power plant, a family home could be supplied with electricity for three months. The winning car was refuelled 30 times and used eleven sets of tyres in the race, and the winning Porsche’s gearbox mastered 22,984 gear changes during the 24 hours. For the best possible visibility, the prototypes had four tear-offs on the windscreens, which were removed one after the other, during pit stops.
In 1982, the winning #1 Porsche 956 of Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell covered 359 laps at an average speed of 126.840 mph (204.129 km/h). Ickx set the fastest qualifying time of 3:28.4 seconds at a speed of 146.265 mph (235.391 km/h). In 2016, the #2 winning Porsche scored a dramatic finish when it racked up its 18th overall victory at Le Mans. The average speed of that winning Porsche was 134.4647 mph (216.4 km/h).
Access to the full article is limited to paid subscribers only. Our membership removes annoying ads, lets enjoy unlimited access to all our premium Porsche content and offers you awesome discounts on Porsche related products.