Back in the 70’s, Porsche dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans in their ground-breaking 917 race car, but the withdrawal of the factory team from the legendary Circuit de La Sarthe gave way for the others to take the checkered flag. But 2014 will be an exciting year for the Stuttgart’s automaker fans as they return to Le Mans in their recently launched 2014 Porsche 919 Le Mans Prototype race car.
Unveiled at Porsche’s annual ‘Night of Champions’ held at their R&D center in Weissach, Germany, the 919 Hybrid marks Porsche’s return into the top level of endurance racing after a 16-year absence.
“The vehicle name 919 hybrid follows on from the tradition of the Le Mans-winning 917, but it is also with a view to the 918 Spyder, and acknowledges the company’s embarkation into the hybrid future”, said Porsche R&D boss Wolfgang Hatz. “Maximum efficiency in energy consumption is the directive of the new WEC (World Endurance Championship) regulations for the works-entered class 1 prototypes – and that is also the direction for the automobile future”, he added.
This means that we will be seeing the 919 Hybrid battling it out with Audi and Toyota on various stages of the WEC, with the ultimate showdown being the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Porsche had actually made its return to Le Mans last year, where they had performed in the GTE category.