Porsche 919 Evo misses out on Brands Indy lap record

The upgraded Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo LMP1 car missed out on unofficially breaking the lap record for the Indy layout at Brands Hatch by just a tenth of a second on Sunday.

Porsche 919 Evo misses out on Brands Indy lap record
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Le Mans 24 Hours winner Nick Tandy was at the wheel of the 919 Evo during the Festival of Porsche event attempting to eclipse the 38.032s benchmark set by the Benetton B197 of Scott Mansell back in 2004.

During the final run, where Tandy used DRS for the first time and hit 192mph before braking for Paddock Hill Bend, the current Porsche IMSA racer could only set an unofficial best lap of 38.16s.

It’s important to stress however that Porsche was not making a genuine attempt to break the record.

The 919 Evo’s hybrid system wasn’t mapped for Brands, and the bespoke Michelin tyres that it normally runs were absent, replaced with ‘off-the-shelf’ rubber. Tandy had never sat in the car prior to last Sunday either.

“That’s up there with the best thing I’ve ever done,” Tandy told Motorsport.com. “It’s the fastest car I’ve ever driven so it was cool.

“The thing is, by the time you’ve done the out lap the tyre is gone. If we had the race tyres then we’d be in the 35s.

“When the aero load comes off it starts to get a bit lairy. That time we were using the DRS as well and I was trying to switch it on earlier and earlier but the rear end was squirrelling.

“We had to recharge the battery because I was basically using the full hybrid system at all points. Whereas, normally in a race situation you’d use it for a couple of seconds out of a corner and then you’re back on engine power and recharging at the end of the straight."

Nick Tandy, Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo

Nick Tandy, Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo

Photo by: Gary Hawkins

Tandy's Brands run came after Neel Jani set a new unofficial lap record at Spa (recently eclipsed by Sebastian Vettel’s 2018 Belgian Grand Prix pole effort) and Timo Bernhard smashed Stefan Bellof’s 35-year-old Nurburgring Nordschleife benchmark earlier this year.

Porsche test engineer Olivier Champenois added: “The tyres weren’t optimised for here, no. For sure [we could improve by] a second definitely.

"Two seconds is a lot on this track but if we could spend some time to try and optimise it then I think even two seconds you can try and probably reach that here.

“I think [Tandy] was pushing in the last run that he did but there’s always a bit more from him as well to find.

“We didn’t have any preparation here so we needed a lot of manual operation [of the hybrid system] from the driver. Obviously we would have to map it around the track with the knowledge we’ve gathered here to be able to optimise it.

“The tyres from Michelin that we use for record laps are specific tyres and they are confidential. Usually we need people from Michelin to support us to come and run them. Today we didn’t have those.”

An appearance at Laguna Seca later this month for the Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI is the 919 Evo’s final planned on-track run before it is retired.

Nick Tandy, Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo

Nick Tandy, Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo

Photo by: Gary Hawkins

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