Porsche was spotted today turning fast laps at the Nürburgring with their now-unrestricted 919 Hybrid Evo Le Mans prototype. Now that they’re no longer running the car at Le Mans, the 919 is now attempting to dominate lap records across the world—and let’s be honest, it’s about time they give us a ‘Ring time. Could this be the start of a beautiful new lap record attempt?
Lap times at other tracks are a mere novelty, but ‘Ring times are a religion. Nabbing a record there makes you instantly legendary. Porsche has been that legend for years after Stefan Bellof set a 6:11.13 lap time in a Porsche 956C in 1983. 1983! That track record is older than I am.
Now it appears as though Porsche might finally, finally, finally break that record. ‘Ring-obsessed blog Bridge to Gantry posted that Porsche had rented out the Nordschleife (the track where ‘Ring times happen) today and the 919 Hybrid Evo was cranking out fast laps on it. Porsche confirmed that they were there with a sound bite of their own, too.
Quick clips of the car posted by Ring Allstars show us just how fast this thing is out there: Very!!!
The over-1,000-horsepower 919 Hybrid Evo, of course, is the dream car that answers the eternal racing fan question of “how fast would this car be if there were no rules?” Regulations for racing tend to hold cars back a bit so that no one team runs away with a season.
However, after Porsche left the World Endurance Championship at the end of last year, they’re no longer beholden to the series’ LMP1 class regs. So, Porsche is now free to modify the 919 for ludicrous speed all they want—hence the “Evo” moniker—and the automotive world is a better place for it.
Porsche has been an epic tease about the possibility of a 919 Hybrid Evo Nürburgring time, even going to far as to bring the 919 Hybrid Evo to the Nürburgring 24 Hours weekend to run a parade lap alongside their current record-holder there, the 956C.
I was Porsche’s guest for that the Nürburgring 24 Hours this year, and couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone as to whether they were going to send the 919 Evo on a flying lap. No one would flatly deny that a ‘Ring lap was coming, though, so I went home and made a sacrifice of 944 effluent to the spirits of Maximum Bruce that someday, Porsche would send it.
That day appears to either be here, or if these are baseline laps ahead of the real deal, at least it’s coming up soon. Getting to see the 919 Hybrid Evo up close in all its completely insane glory convinced me even further that they have to set a ‘Ring time for it.
Not only have the fuel flow and hybrid energy recovery systems been unrestricted, but the 919 Hybrid Evo features completely updated aerodynamics, with a rear wing that’s notably further back, skirts that seal off the floor of the car for more downforce, front and rear drag reduction systems available to use and no lights taking up weight or space in the nose.
Here’s a few up-close snapshots from its last (albeit much slower) appearance at the ‘Ring at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. This looks like a car that should send it to me.