ATLANTA – official release — Porsche photo —
The board of Porsche AG has announced the extension of the marque’s Le Mans prototype program until the end of the 2018 season.
With its ground-breaking concept – a downsized turbo engine and powerful energy recovery systems, combined with an extreme lightweight design – the racing car with approximately 1000 combined horespower serves as a research laboratory for future sports car technology.
“Motorsport is an important part of Porsche’s brand identity – but not an end in itself,” said Matthias Mueller, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “Racing must help the technology of future road going sports cars. It was the revolutionary efficiency regulations that convinced us to return to top-level motorsport for the 2014 season. That we have managed to take the crown jewel of endurance racing in only our second year, with a one-two result in Le Mans in 2015 with our highly innovative and complex 919, is an outstanding testimony to the people in the Weissach research and development center. The overall competition bears fruit and we see further potential for future synergy between the racing and road car programs. This is why we have extended the program.”
For class one Le Mans prototypes (LMP1) entered by manufacturers, the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) regulations stipulate hybrid systems and limit the amount of energy (fuel and electricity) available per lap.
“Porsche sets benchmarks in the WEC,” said Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board, Research and Development. “The two-liter V4-cylinder turbo charged petrol engine with a performance of over 500 hp is the most efficient combustion engine we have built so far. Our energy recovery systems are the most powerful ones on the entire grid. Up until now no other manufacturer is able to provide eight megajoules of electric power for the distance of one lap in Le Mans. It is easy to detect that the challenge provided by the sport pushes our engineers to extreme performances.”
“Back in 2012 we began in Weissach with a handful of people, literally a white sheet of paper, high expectations and a strong amount of courage,” said Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1. “I’m very proud of this team of 230 employees and I’m pleased for each of them that from now on we can plan securely for three more world championship seasons and Le Mans entries.”
CREDIT: Porsche AG