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Car FYI Car of the Month for June 2015: Le Mans Winning Porsche 919 Hybrid

Photo Credit Porsche Cars North America

Forgive me for I am still catching up to my commitment to provide a Car of the Month for the Car FYI website. When I started this initiative, I knew with the absence of auto shows, the summer would produce a trickier period for determining the monumental vehicle for a month.

Picking a car for the month of June, it is my belief I am trying too hard to be clever in choosing a vehicle that I should have followed my first and most obvious choice. Without further ado, I present the June 2015 Car FYI Car of the Month recipient; the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans overall winning Porsche 919 Hybrid.

After a decade and a half absence from top-tier global sports car racing, a Porsche factory racing effort assembled on-track for 2014 as LMP1 competitors in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Porsche's return to prototype sports car competition was hedged on a gasoline/electric hybrid propelled entrant. The Porsche 919 Hybrid pairs a rear-axle connected turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor on the front axle. Two energy recovery systems gather electrical power through braking as well as through exhaust gases.

The 2014 season for Porsche Racing started tough but ultimately ended with a victory at the 6 hours of Sao Paulo on Brazil's Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. In 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Porsche 919 Hybrid displayed impressive speed on course but lacked the durability necessary for the endurance race. For 2015, Porsche Racing returned to the Circuit de la Sarthe with an enhanced 919 Hybrid boosting a combined performance output of roughly 900 horsepower.

Taking the top-three positions in qualifying, the Porsche Racing team's LMP1 effort for the 2015 L24 Hours of Le Mans consisted of a red #17, black #18 and white #19 machine driven by a veteran as well as younger competitors. While the red Porsche 919 Hybrid proved to be winning material early, its was the #19 machine crossing the line first after 24 hours and 395 laps in the French endurance classic. The white Porsche 919 Hybrid was wheeled by a relatively young driving team of Nico Hulkenberg, Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy.

Becoming the second hybrid-powered race car to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall (first being the Audi R18 e-tron quattro), the Porsche 919 Hybrid use of a gasoline/electric powertrain has coincided with for the 918 Spyder supercar production car.   

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