Porsche has officially broken the overall lap record of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, using a modified version of its three-time Le Mans winning LMP1 racer.
With 2016 World Endurance Champion Neel Jani at the wheel, the Evo 919 set a 1m 41.770s lap around the 4.3 mile Spa. This stunning time smashed the previous lap record held by Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes W07, a 1m 42.553s tour set during qualifying for the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix.
Incredibly Jani’s time was 12 seconds quicker than the WEC spec 919 managed in qualifying for the Spa 6 Hour event last year.
To achieve this incredible time, the 919 had to undergo an extensive development process. Most of the cars enhancements come from unleashing its hidden potential, due to having to run to spec rules when competing in the WEC.
This means that the Evo has no fuel-flow restrictions and updated software in order to unlock more power from its two-litre V4 engine, resulting in a power increase of around 200bhp from the power-plant alone.
The 919’s hybrid system can is now run at its full capacity of 8.49 megajoules of power as opposed to the 6.37 the 919 could utilize when in competition.
The 919 Evo also features newly-developed aerodynamics, with an aggressive looking new rear wing and front diffuser, both of which are active so that they can move around and change the dynamics of the car depending on if cornering or travelling in a straight line.
The results of these upgrades are a massive 53% increase in overall downforce as well as a downforce efficiency increase of 66% compared to the original 2017 spec 919.
The Spa outing is the first of several lap record attempts by Porsche with the 919 Evo, with runs at the Nurburgring Nordschleife and the 70th Porsche anniversary held at Brands Hatch to follow later this year as part of the 919 farewell tour.
“This was an absolutely fantastic lap – an outstanding drivers’ performance from Neel and the result of great engineering,” said Fritz Enzinger, head of Volkswagen Audi Group motorsports.
“Our target was to show what the Porsche 919 Hybrid is able to do when we loosen the restrictions that normally come from the regulations.”