Porsche has withdrawn from WEC for the 2018 season, but is giving the mighty 919 a send-off with their 'Farewell Tour'. With this tour, they're ripping up the restrictive WEC rulebook, and showing to the world just what the 919 can really do. And that, as it turns out, happens to be lapping Spa faster than Lewis Hamilton's 2017 pole position lap in his Mercedes W08.
Today, the car cracked out a mighty time of 1:41:770, which shaves nearly a second off the time Hamilton managed to achieve in his Mercedes in 'full quali' mode in September last year.
Perhaps even more astoundingly, it is rumoured that Porsche don't want to stop there. Whispers across the internet suggest that Porsche are aiming for a time in the 1:36 range, which would make the 919 a full six seconds quicker than the supposed pinnacle of motorsport.
In a video that has emerged on YouTube, the 919 is visibly different from the spec it was when it competed in WEC. Aero elements are far more aggressive (look at that wing, for example), and under the body the hybrid tech has been made cutting edge, rather than regulated. Speculation suggests the 919 is producing upwards of 1200bhp in its current state of tune, but there are rumours that the car is capable of 1600bhp. Yeesh.
Porsche aren't aiming to stop just there, though. As the name would suggest, the 'farewell tour' is set to travel to major tracks across the world, with the intention of shattering track records left, right, and centre.
It's a powerful statement from Porsche that demonstrates just how capable racers are without strict regulation. Just imagine how mind-boggling a deregulated Formula 1 car would be...