Porsche’s 2013 LMP1 test program has finished for the year with the final laps run on Autódromo Internacional do Algarve near Portimão, Portugal. Testing of the LMP1 is scheduled to resume in early 2014 when Porsche will field two LMP1 race cars in the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC), with the Le Mans 24 Hours as the highlight of the season.
WEC Regulations Play Big Role In Porsche’s LMP1 Engine Design
The WEC regulations stipulate that manufacturers run hybrid vehicles in the highest class for Le Mans Prototypes (LMP1). In developing the all-new Porsche LMP1 race car, Porsche’s engineers were faced with major challenges that were best solved using innovative solutions. The new race car features a hybrid system that consists of a four-cylinder gas engine with direct injection and two energy recuperation systems. The recovered energy is stored in a battery until retrieved by the driver. A powerful electric motor then provides additional drive to the front axle. However, the WEC rules limit the amount of fuel as well as the electrical energy, or so-called boost, available to the driver per lap. [Porsche mentions this highly efficient driving will influence production development in the future].
Mark Webber Runs First Laps In Porsche LMP1
On the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Mark Webber (37) got his first chance to climb aboard the Porsche LMP1 racer. The Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team gave the Australian the green light to conduct these initial tests, despite Webber still being under contract. Starting January 1, 2014, Webber officially joins the Porsche factory team as a works driver and reinforces the already-signed driver line-up of Timo Bernhard (32), Romain Dumas (35) and Neel Jani (30).
Mark Webber commented in Portimão: “My first day in this fascinating project was an intense experience for me. I would like to thank Red Bull Racing for giving me the chance to join the project so early. This is a major and important step for us all. It allows me to integrate with the team quicker and to contribute to further developing the LMP1 race car. We have a long way to go and it involves a lot of hard work. I have no misconceptions about this.” Head of Porsche LMP1 Fritz Enzinger also appreciated the goodwill shown by the Austrian F1 team: “I’m delighted to have Mark in the team so early. Red Bull Racing has helped us considerably in allowing this!”
To follow the preparations of the LMP1 team in the lead up to tackling the WEC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, visit: www.porsche.com/mission2014.
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