Porsche to Run in 8MJ Sub-class in 2015

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Porsche will move up to the eight megajoule subcategory of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s LMP1 class this season.

The German manufacturer revealed its 2015 cars ahead of the FIA WEC Prologue at Paul Ricard, which begins tomorrow (March 27).

The switch from 6MJ to 8MJ has been accompanied by an intensive development programme that has resulted in the refinement of virtually all of the 919 Hybrid’s key components.

Improvements to the car’s energy recovery system prompted the decision to move up to the 8MJ division, which will mean that each sub-class is likely to be represented by one of the four FIA WEC manufacturers. Toyota today confirmed that it would be running in the 6MJ category, while Audi makes the step up from 2MJ to 4MJ. Nissan is expected to announce its GT-R LM NISMO as a 2MJ effort.

The Porsche 919 Hybrid features the same power method as last year’s model. The rear wheels are powered by a turbocharged two litre V4 petrol engine, while the front axle is connected to an electric motor producing around 400 horsepower. The front-end motor is connected to the car’s two energy recovery systems. Energy produced from the front axles will be stored by a lithium-ion battery.

Other significant changes made over the winter include weight reduction, chassis strengthening and aerodynamic refinement.

Porsche will also change its colours this season, to commemorate several milestones in the manufacturer’s decorated history. The #17 919 Hybrid of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber will sport a red livery that alludes to Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood’s 1970 Le Mans win. The #18 machine will feature a black design, as a reference to the marque’s road-going 918 Hybrid that broke the Nürburgring Nordschleife production car lap record in 2013. It will be driven by Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas and Neel Jani.

Porsche’s third car, which will compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, carries the unmistakable German racing white. Earl Bamber, Nick Tandy and Formula 1 star Nico Hulkenberg were announced as the drivers earlier this year.

Porsche will roll out its 919 Hybrids at the official Prologue test tomorrow (March 27), before the cars make their competitive debut at the 6 Hours of Silverstone on April 12.

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