Magnussen, Turvey and Evans tested the Porsche 919 Hybrid
Three young drivers from various racing series – McLaren F1 reserve driver Kevin Magnussen (23, Denmark), Nextev TCR’s Formula E driver Oliver Turvey (28, GB) and GP2 driver Mitch Evans (21, New Zealand), had an opportunity to test the innovative Le Mans winning prototype Porsche 919 Hybrid at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona. In two-day test their mentor was Timo Bernhard, Porsche factory driver and current leader in World Endurance Championship.
Porsche Team’s Principal Andreas Seidl explained: “We are a young team with a highly complex race car. For us it is always exciting and informative when drivers share their first experiences with the 919 Hybrid. The feedback is sometimes very detailed and individual. We regularly scan various motorsport categories for strong drivers, inside and outside the Porsche family. We are really pleased our test programme has allowed us to invite these three drivers to Barcelona. Before this, they visited Weissach in October to prepare for this.”
Mitch Evans is currently in his third GP2 season, which is also the second one for his Russian Time team. With four races still to go, he is sixth in the championship rankings. In 2015 he also made his debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Jota Sport and finished second in the LMP2 category.
“It is a great opportunity for me to test drive the 919 Hybrid – a Le Mans winning car! It is very smooth to drive. A few things are completely new to me. I’m not used to power steering, this type of tyre and have never raced a four-wheel-drive car. But the most impressive thing is the acceleration from the hybrid when the e-machine kicks in. The car is very stable and gives you a lot of confidence. I’d like to thank the Porsche Team for this opportunity,” Evans said.
Oliver Turvey has the most experience in endurance racing of the three test drivers. He has competed in Le Mans three times in an LMP2 car. In 2014 he won his class and came second in 2015, together with Evans in Jota Sport car. His single seater career took him up to GP2 Asia before he went on to race in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the European Le Mans Series.
“It is phenomenal to drive the Porsche 919 Hybrid. The amount of power the car has from the combustion engine and the e-machine, which drives the front axle, is really impressive. The grip level and the downforce level is very high. The car feels very stable and consistent – it is a pleasure to drive it and I’m very grateful to Porsche for the opportunity to test here in Barcelona,” Turvey said.
Kevin Magnussen had an experience in Formula One, with one podium finish last year at Australian Grand Prix. Although Formula One cars are special, he agreed that Le Mans prototype is more advanced than F1 car.
“The Porsche 919 Hybrid is the first race car I have driven for months, and it’s an amazing car with amazing power. It is easy to feel that this is probably the most advanced race car in the world at the moment. I have a few things to work on, especially getting on top of braking. As you can’t see the front wheels here, you don’t really know when you’re locking up, so that is something to get used to and there is also a lot less visibility compared to a single seater. So there are a few things to get used to, but the first impression is really good and I enjoyed it a lot,” Magnussen said.
Photos: Porsche Press Database