For a few glorious years, the “P1” prototype class in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) was the coolest thing in racing.
Audi, Toyota, and Porsche built all-wheel drive hybrid racecars, each with more than 1,000 horsepower, each capable of running flat-out for 24 hours or longer over distances it would take an F1 car an entire season of races to rack up.
But Audi and then Porsche both withdrew from the sport, their highly successful—but very expensive—racing programs casualties of Dieselgate. Porsche pulled out at the end of 2017 after winning almost everything there was to win with its 919 Hybrid.
But before the company puts the cars into the museum, it has some unfinished business, proving just how insanely fast the 919 Hybrid really is.
Porsche is taking the 919 Hybrid on tour, but the plan is to do more than just show it off to the fans—it’s going for records.
The first of these has already fallen. On Sunday, April 9, Neel Jani set a new track record at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgian, home to that country’s annual F1 race. Jani lapped the 4.4-mile (7km) track in 1 minute 41.770 seconds, 12 seconds faster than the 919 Hybrid’s previous best time at the track.
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