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Porsche unleashes 919 Hybrid on track-record tour

by Justin King

Freed from Le Mans class restrictions, the LMP1 racer beat Lewis Hamilton\'s F1 record at Spa-Francorchamps.

After retiring from formal endurance racing, Porsche's 919 Hybrid Evo has been 'unchained' and sent on a record-smashing world tour.

The car is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged V4 engine and two different energy recovery systems, one regenerating during braking and the other recouping exhaust energy.

Removing the WEC-regulation fuel flow meter allowed the team to increase the V4's output from 500 horsepower to 720 horsepower, while electric motor power increased by 10 percent to 440 horsepower alongside an increase in energy recovery.

Spa-Francorchamps was the first stop on the world tour. The unrestricted 919 lapped the circuit in 1:41.7, beating Lewis Hamilton's record lap. Porsche works driver Neel Jani hit a top speed of 223 mph and maintained an average of nearly 153 mph.

"The 919 Evo is brutally impressive. It is definitely the fastest car I ever drove," Jani said. "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."

The '919 Tribute Tour' will naturally include a demo lap at the Nurburgring before heading to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Festival of Porsche in Brands Hatch and the Porsche Rennsport Reunion in Laguna Seca.

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