Although the car used is one of the championship-winning cars from Porsche’s last WEC year of 2017, with the same hybrid drivetrain, it has been let off the LMP1 leash. Porsche says the idea was to show what the car could do when it didn’t have to meet the fuel- and aero-restricting WEC regulations.
In Evo form, the 919 is more powerful, lighter and more aerodynamic. Now able to guzzle as much fuel as it likes – rather more than the 2.464 litres per lap of Spa it was restricted to under WEC rules – the 2.0-litre V4 puts out 720hp rather than 500. The car’s twin energy recovery systems – one harvesting energy from the front brakes, the other from the exhaust – are similarly de-restricted, for an output of 440hp, 10 per cent up.
Aerodynamic tweaks developed for Porsche’s aborted 2018 WEC challenge were incorporated, along with all the good stuff the engineers were probably itching to add all along but WEC scrutineers would never have allowed: bigger diffuser and bigger rear wing, both with active drag reduction systems, and fixed height side skirts. The result is the Evo boasts 53 per cent more downforce.
Other changes include newly developed Michelin rubber, a new brake-by-wire set-up, stronger wishbones and 39kg lighter weight. In time-honoured “less is more” Porsche fashion, they stripped out all the things – air-conditioning, windscreen wiper, pneumatic jack – that weren’t needed for a single fast lap.