Porsche has been making a name for itself in the hybrid world with petrol-electric versions of the Panamera grand tourer and Cayenne SUV.
And it is now breaking records after its 919 Hybrid LMP1 car smashed the unofficial lap record for the Spa-Francorchamps circuit by setting a time quicker than Lewis Hamilton’s pole lap in last year’s Formula 1 race.
At the steering wheel was Porsche works driver Neel Jani who lapped the 7.004km-long Belgian Grand Prix track in the Ardennes mountains in 1:41.770 minutes.
This was 0.783 seconds quicker than the previous record time set by Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid back in August 2017 when he secured pole position for that year’s F1 race.
At his fastest, Mr Jani hit a top speed of 359 km/h (223mph) and an average speed of 245.61 km/h (152mph) on his record lap.
Fritz Enzinger, head of LMP1 at Porsche, hailed it as “an absolutely fantastic lap” as well as “an outstanding drivers’ performance and the result of great engineering”.
He commented: “This track record impressively proves the ultimate performance of the most innovative race car of its time. Our target was to show what the Porsche 919 Hybrid is able to do when we loosen the restrictions that normally come from the regulations.”
Neel Jani described the 919 Evo as “brutally impressive” and “the fastest car I have ever driven”.
The 34-year-old Swiss added: “We are not only faster than the F1 pole from 2017. My lap was twelve seconds faster compared to our WEC pole position from last year.”
With the 919 Hybrid, Porsche has won the Le Mans 24-Hours for three consecutive years, between 2015 and 2017.
It has also helped the manufacturer clinch world champion titles for both manufacturers and drivers in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) during the same three years.