The Porsche 919 Hybrid World tour is drawing to a close – after on-track lappery at Rennsport Reunion the car was on the streets of Paris last Sunday in the hands of Romain Dumas.
After setting lap record times at both Spa-Francorchamps and the 22-kilometre circuit at the Nürburgring, the public outings for the car were completed (for now at least!) with a 13.6km “circuit” in the streets of Paris, a distance identical to a lap at the Circuit de 24 Hours at Le Mans.
Starting and finishing at the Trocadéro, the Place de l’Etoile at the Arc de Triomphe, the Marché St-Honoré, the Chatelet, the Place Vendôme, the Champ de Mars, the rue de Rivoli, the Invalides, the edge of the Seine.
To navigate Parisian cobblestones, the body height of the German prototype was at its max. After two laps, Romain Dumas parked in front of the esplanade and was rushed by the crowd.
Merci à tous ceux qui sont venus hier pour ce roulage un peu spécial avec la 919 Hybrid! C’était vraiment particulier et sympa d’avoir une autre vue de Paris 😃 Merci à @Porsche_France d’avoir rendu cela possible. #919Tribute pic.twitter.com/F9aHvW9Qiu
— Romain Dumas (@RomainDumas) October 8, 2018
“It’s definitely beautiful, with wonderful shots in front of the Trocadéro, going up the Champs-Elysées, the Etoile roundabout,” said the two-time 24 Hours winner (2010 with Audi and 2016 with Porsche).
“I hadn’t driven the 919 since the 6 Hours of Bahrain in 2017,” Dumas added. “Today, I didn’t go more than 50-60 km/h.”
“I think I’ve driven almost every car in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. When you drive them, you notice their strengths more depending upon the circuit. Some had great engines, others excellent gearboxes. The 919 Hybrid, for example, had a fantastic engine.”
With Romain Dumas driving the 919 Hybrid through some of the most prestigious areas of Paris – which remained open to other traffic, – how long would he estimate a lap of the 13.6-kilometer “circuit” to be in race conditions? “Maybe five minutes… taking into account those Parisian cobblestones!”