The Porsche 919’s racing career came to an end after Porsche decided to retire the monster after the 2017 LMP1 racing season. Normally, when a racecar is retired, one of three things will happen to it. The remaining examples will either be showcased in a museum, they will be locked away in an automotive warehouse, or they will be auctioned off to some very wealthy collectors-we hope to collect many iconic racecars in the coming years. All famous racecars from the Ferrari 250 GTO to the Porsche 911 GT1, and even the Porsche 917, suffered this fate, but not the 919. Porsche had something the world had never seen before hidden up its sleeve.
When the 919 was built, Porsche knew they had created something special, perhaps something as special as the 917, but the 919 had one major, deal breaking flaw: it was a racecar. Since Porsche had built the 919 as a racecar, they had to comply with hundreds if not thousands of ridiculous FIA Racing Regulations. For example, cars must weigh a minimum of 1920 lb, they can be no longer than 183 inches, and they must be between 71 and 75 inches wide. Now these regulations are great for creating fair and entertaining races; they help make a level playing field, and races dependent on the skill of the drivers. But they are not ideal if one would want to make the fastest car possible.
After the 919 was retired, Porsche decided to make the 919 Evo, a tribute car to the legacy of the 919, but that’s what Porsche tells us. They made an event out of the creation of the Evo called the “919 Tribute Tour,” where Porsche would take the new 919 Evo to motor shows and racetracks all around the world. This is purely speculation, but I believe that this whole tribute tour was just an excuse by Porsche to build the fastest car the world had ever seen. To create the Evo, Porsche took the “standard” 919, and broke just about every single FIA regulation in the book.
Originally, the 919’s 2.0 liter V4 engine made about 500 hp and the electric motors made about 400 hp due to FIA regulations. But since the 919 wasn’t competing anymore power was upped to 710 hp and the electric motors’ output was increased to 434 hp. This resulted in a combined power output of about 1144 hp! As if weight was an issue, Porsche made the featherweight-like 1929 lb 919 even lighter, with the Evo weighing in at an astonishing 1872 lb dry (a brand new GT2RS weighs 3241 lb). The Evo also received some extreme aerodynamic upgrades which improved downforce by 53% compared to the 2017 spec Porsche 919. With the Evo, Porsche had cut the chains off of a hungry bear, and the result was 0-300 kph in 8 seconds, let that sink in.
The first of many lap records that the Evo broke was at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. The 919 Evo set a lap time of 1:41.77 with an average speed of 152.6 mph. This lap was 0.783 seconds faster than the previous record of 1:42.553 set by Louis Hamilton in his Mercedes F1 car…NOTHING IS SUPPOSED TO BE FASTER THAN AN F1 CAR! Compared to the “standard” 919, the Evo was 12 seconds faster, which is about 3 years in the world of car racing where milliseconds make all the difference. Spa wasn’t the only record on the Evo’s kill list, it was after something more, something “unbeatable”.
Next stop for the 919 Evo, the Nurburgring Norschleife, aka the Green Hell. Porsche was after the all time record for the Nurburgring, the “unbeatable record set by the Porsche 956 over 35 years ago, when the Nurburgring was much shorter (12.944 miles versus today’s. 16.12 miles). The record lap set by the 956 was a warp-like 6:11.13…the Evo did it in 5:19.55, earning it the title of the world’s fastest car, period.
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