2015 Porsche 919 LMP1 Hybrid debuts on track

Pictures have just been released of the 2015 Porsche 919 LMP1 Hybrid, three of which will be raced at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours on June 13-14, with drivers including Formula 1’s Nico Hülkenberg.

Weissach rolled the car out onto the test track for various systems checks in December last year, but serious testing of Stuttgart’s WEC challenger kicks off in Abu Dhabi on January 18. More testing is scheduled before the opening round of the 2015 World Endurance Championship on April 12 at Silverstone.

Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 2015 Ferdinand 2

Porsche’s 2015 LMP1 car is said to be “a comprehensive evolution of the successful car that made its debut in 2014. It features the same innovative drivetrain concept consisting of a 2-litre V4 turbocharged petrol engine, an electric motor powering the front wheels, and two energy recovery systems.”

What has been dropped? We don’t know. Details will emerge as the season progresses: it will also be interesting to see what pace the car runs when it gets to Silverstone, how hard it is on its tyres and whether Porsche applies any changes in approach to quali and race strategy.

Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 2015 Ferdinand 3

2014 was a mixed bag for Porsche in the WEC, with some teething troubles on track and a serious crash for Mark Webber at Interlagos. The team did manage a win with the 919 – Dumas/Jani/Lieb (above) coming home first in Brazil – but only after Toyota had clinched the World Championship, following a virtually flawless season by Anthony Davidson and Sebastian Buemi. Here’s to better results for the car and our heroes in 2015.

edit: Daily Sportscar has done a quick analysis of 2014 919 vs 2015 model, also making the point that Porsche has gone to an 8mJ Hybrid system which requires more cooling. The initial changes are aerodynamic – at least Porsche has its own wind tunnel this year.

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