Motor (Australia) - - FRONT END. NEWS - LC

NO­BODY LIKES be­ing beaten. Es­pe­cially Porsche, by the looks of it. Af­ter the Lam­borgh­ini Hu­ra­can Per­for­mante knocked off its 918 Spy­der as the fastest pro­duc­tion car around the Nur­bur­gring Nord­schleife in early 2017 the brand has been on a ram­page to re­assert it­self. Re­cently it went as far as to chop its own out­right record at the in­fa­mous ‘Green Hell’ with a scarcely be­liev­able 5min and 19.546sec lap around the 20.832km cir­cuit. With the firm’s 919 Hy­brid now fin­ished with rac­ing, af­ter winning three-straight Le Mans 24 Hour races and World En­durance Cham­pi­onships, Porsche had a lit­tle task for it to com­plete be­fore let­ting it kick up its feet on a beach in re­tire­ment. En­gi­neers were in­structed to ‘der­e­strict’ the 919 Hy­brid and see how fast it could tackle some of the world’s most fa­mous tracks. Spa Fran­cor­champs was its first vic­tim. It tore around the 7.004km track in 1min and 41.770sec, eclips­ing the qual­i­fy­ing lap Lewis Hamil­ton set at the 2017 Grand Prix in his Mercedes-AMG F1 car by 0.783sec. That was in April. It set the scorch­ing Nur­bur­gring lap on the morn­ing of June 29 in cool, sunny con­di­tions. Known as the 919 Hy­brid Evo, the car’s seen its weight, power and down­force up­graded to lev­els be­yond the realm of LMP1. All equip­ment un­nec­es­sary for a hand­ful of qual­i­fy­ing laps was ditched, in­clud­ing air­con­di­tion­ing, wind­screen wipers, cer­tain sen­sors and elec­tronic de­vices, lights and pneu­matic jacks. This dropped its dry weight by 39kg to 849kg. Aero­dy­nam­ics was the next area of fo­cus. The floor and vanes were tuned for max­i­mum at­tack, while a new dif­fuser was in­stalled to bal­ance the mas­sive rear wing. With two drag re­duc­tion sys­tems, down­force is up 53 per cent and ef­fi­ciency by 66 per cent. Power was tweaked by way of its turbo 2.0litre V4 and hy­brid sys­tems. The for­mer spin­ning 530kW (162kW extra) through the rear axle and the lat­ter con­tribut­ing another 324kW (29kW), which is de­ployed via the front-axle elec­tric mo­tor. All up, that’s 854kW at its dis­posal. If all these dizzy­ing statis­tics are start­ing to make the 919 Hy­brid Evo’s achieve­ment seem less sur­pris­ing, the gap to the fastest pro­duc­tion road car around The ’Ring re­stores the achieve­ment’s right­ful lus­tre. Of course, the car in ques­tion is Porsche’s own 911 GT2 RS, which swiped the crown with a 6min 47.25sec lap, 87.754 sec­onds slower. Check out the speed dif­fer­ences be­low. The last out­right record stood at 6min 11.13sec at the hands of Ste­fan Bellof in 1983. The Ger­man na­tive pi­loted Porsche’s 956 dur­ing that year’s World Sportscar Cham­pi­onship race. The next quick­est lap that day was 6:27.36. –

THE 911 GT2 RS TAMER Lars Kern was joined by Nick Tandy on the day. Run­ning two cars, Kern nailed the lap at 7:11pm, Septem­ber 27, 2017.

Timo Bern­hard is a for­mer Le Mans and Nur­bur­gring 24 Hour win­ner. He says he treated the “ex­haust­ing” lap like a qual­i­fier. THE 919 HY­BRID EVO TAMER

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