Porsche’s 2015 World Endurance Championship contender, the second-generation 919 Hybrid, will begin official testing on Jan. 18 at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit. According to Porsche, this is the first of several performance and endurance tests scheduled before the WEC season opener on April 12 in Silverstone, Great Britain.
The new 919 has already completed its preliminary tests at the firm’s Weissach test facility on Jan. 15; Porsche has been kind enough to release a few photos of the new car.
The 2015 shares the same powerplant technology as its predecessor, a gasoline-fueled turbocharged, fuel-injected 2-liter V4 engine driving the rear wheels augmented by an electric motor driving the front wheels for short bursts, with power scavenged from two separate systems, friction from the brakes and heat from the turbocharger.
The 919 debuted in 2014 marking Porsche’s return to prototype sports car racing after 16 years away. The car showed great promise, scoring a podium in its first race, the Six Hours of Silverstone. A 919 led at Le Mans with 90 minutes to go; both cars retired in the next fifteen minutes, which really hurt Porsche’s championship hopes as Le Mans was worth double points,
The 919 went on to finish second and third at its fourth event, at Circuit of the Americas, and again at the next round at Fuji.
The new Porsche got its first win and another podium at Shanghai, finished third at Bahrain, and ended the season by sweeping the top two spots at Sao Paulo.
The newest 919 will face stiff competition, with Audi and Toyota returning and Nissan joining the fray. The 2015 World Endurance Championship kicks off with the Six Hours of Silverstone on April 12. Ticket information is available at http://www.silverstone.co.uk/events/2015-fia-world-endurance-championship/tickets/.