Porsche charges into the record books

Wednesday 03 February 2021

The all-electric Porsche Taycan has recently completed a record-breaking 1,000km endurance run at Brands Hatch. Porsche GB has now established a Motorsport UK benchmark for 13 endurance records with two road registered standard production cars.

Motorsport UK officiated the record breaking attempts, which saw a Porsche Taycan 4S and a Porsche Taycan Turbo S, both cover the 1,000 km distance with drivers including Le Mans legend Richard Attwood, Former Grand Prix star and Brands Hatch owner Jonathan Palmer, 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Harry King and 2020 Cayman Islands Porsche Sprint Challenge GB champion James Dorlin.

The governing body for UK motorsport and land speed record attempts ratified and awarded the following records.

In the category of ‘electric cars over 1000 kgs’, the Taycan 4S took the records for time taken from a standing start to cover 50 kilometres, 50 miles, 100 kilometres, 500 kilometres, 500 miles and 1000 kilometres as well as the record for distance covered from a standing start in one hour (61.013 miles / 98.192 kms).

In the same category, the Taycan Turbo S claimed the records for time taken from a standing start to cover 200 kilometres, 100 miles and 200 miles plus the records for distance covered from a standing start in three hours (156.806 miles / 252.356 kms), six hours (279.657 miles / 450.065 kms) and 12 hours (569.028 miles / 915.762 kms).

Hugh Chambers, CEO Motorsport UK said: Hugh Chambers, CEO Motorsport UK said: “It is our great pleasure to award Porsche GB with 13 new British land speed records with the two electric Porsches. The evolution of sustainable technology is increasing exponentially, and showcasing it through the use of motorsport and land speed, it will help to accelerate the development for everyday road cars. We look forward to the Porsche team continuing to demonstrate the capabilities of their cars in this most definitive way.”


Here’s how the history books were written…

Following the launch of the electric Taycan, a number of venues were identified for the record runs, with the choice falling between a high-speed bowl or race circuit.

While a high-speed bowl (Nardo in Italy) was the location for a pre-production Taycan to complete 3,425 kms in a non-stop 24 hour run during final testing in 2019, a circuit was chosen to be the venue for the 1,000 km runs. And the venue was to be in the UK.

Aside from being a second home for many Porsche models, a race circuit also presents a completely different – and relevant – set of challenges, including higher energy consumption. The Taycan’s exceptionally fast charging ability coupled with maximum regeneration under braking of 265 kWh would be key to success.

Brands Hatch was the logical home to the record attempts, with the Kent-based circuit steeped in Porsche motorsport history.

In April 1970, a Porsche 917 in the hands of Pedro Rodriguez and Leo Kinnunen won the rain-soaked 1,000 km race by five laps, the drive from Rodriguez still considered to be one of the finest seen in sports car racing. On the podium in third that day was another 917, driven by Richard Attwood and Hans Hermann. Two months later the same distinctive red and white Salzburg liveried 917 would make Porsche history when the pair took the first outright win for German manufacturer at Le Mans.

In July 1984, Porsche claimed the top six finishing positions with 956 and 962 models at the 1,000 km of Brands Hatch. On the top step of the podium were the drivers of the winning Porsche 956, Jan Lammers and Jonathan Palmer.

50 years after his 1,000 km run at Brands Hatch, Richard Attwood returned to the circuit to join the driver line-up in a Taycan 4S sporting a specially designed Salzburg tribute livery. 36 years after his part in the 1,000 km win, Jonathan Palmer returned to join the line up in a Taycan Turbo S finished in a livery harking back to that of the winning 956 from 1984.

The winning 917 from 1970 covered the 1,000 km distance in 6 hours 45 minutes and 29.6 seconds at an average speed of 91.54 mph on the faster Grand Prix circuit. In 2020, the first electric Porsche sports car covered the same distance in 13 hours and 25 seconds at an average speed of 47.77 mph with an average energy consumption of 1.38 miles/kWh (72.5 kWh/100 miles).

Over the course of the 1,000 km record run, the Taycan 4S spent a total of 3 hours and 3 seconds charging and entering or exiting the charging area, which was completed over six stops. On average, each stop lasted around 30 minutes from the car entering the pitlane to re-joining the circuit, the cars charging from around five percent to 85 percent each time.

A bespoke strategy was developed for each car, combining a lap-by-lap efficiency target with a target lap time. Communication was maintained between the teams and cars via the onboard Porsche Communication Management system and a connected hands-free mobile phone. Due to the necessity of social distancing and keeping personnel to a minimum, each car was managed by a team of just two, plus a technical representative and an overall coordinator.

The record runs, which were set just before Christmas, and got underway at 07.00 and were completed at 20.00, meaning that laps were undertaken in daylight and darkness. In a parallel to the race of 1970, intermittent rain and heavy showers ensured the track surface was never any better than damp.

Swapping between both cars and the star drivers was highly experienced UK motoring journalist Colin Goodwin with each driver completing either two or three stints over the duration of the runs, each stint usually lasting around 90 minutes, which equated to around 80 laps.

At 20.00 the Porsche team had accumulated 2000km between the two cars and racked up 13 British land speed records.