Coming just days after Webber helped complete the LMP1 race car’s 2013 testing program in Portugal, Porsche has announced its hybrid racing car will be called the Porsche 919 hybrid.
Powered by a hybrid drivetrain comprising a direct-injection four-cylinder petrol engine, an electric motor and two energy recuperation systems, the 919 hybrid aims to continue the German sports car manufacturer’s Le Mans racing history started with the Porsche 917 – the first Porsche to win the iconic endurance race.
Porsche AG research and development head Wolfgang Hatz said the 919 hybrid name follows on from the tradition of the Le Mans-winning 917, but also gives a nod to the new 918 Spyder, and acknowledges the company’s transition into hybrid technology.
“But to continue leading the way in the future and to merge sportiness with sustainability, we need to keep learning,” Hatz said.
“Maximum efficiency in energy consumption is the directive of the new WEC regulations for the works-entered class one prototypes – and that is also the direction for the automobile future.”
Porsche also named its complete driver squad, adding 24-year-old New Zealander Brendon Hartley and 33-year-old German Marc Lieb – a long-standing Porsche works driver – to the team line-up that already included Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and 37-year-old Webber.
The 2014 WEC season begins in April at Silverstone, before being highlighted by the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
After seven years with Red Bull Racing, Webber officially announced his F1 exit in June, drawing to a close his 12-year career in the sport, which also included stints at Minardi, Jaguar and Williams.