With a time of 5:19.55 on only the third lap of the morning Porsche has broken a record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife that has stood since 1983. Which was also set by a Porsche…
Jochen Mass and Jacky Ickx always suspected that their eager young teammate in his No. 2 Porsche 956 couldn’t resist but wind the turbo boost dial right around. In qualifying for the 1983 Nürburgring 1000 the German hot-shoe Stefan Bellof many were touting for a Formula 1 world title managed to set a record that stood for over 30 years, a lap time around the Green Hell of six minutes and 11 seconds. Mass was five seconds behind and Ickx, who had just notched up his sixth 24 Hours of Le Mans victory the previous summer, was 16 seconds slower.
Bellof, always flat out, went for an impossible pass through Eau Rouge at Spa in 1985 and died, but that ‘Ring record always reminded untouchable as his legacy. In all this time no one has even come close.
Until this morning, when Porsche took the 919 Evo to the Nürburgring and put two-time Le Mans winner Timo Bernhard behind the wheel. It took just three flying laps to stop the clocks at 5:19.55, nearly a minute faster than anyone’s ever gone around the Nordschleife.
Since Porsche isn’t busy competing at Le Mans any more, the Germans took they 919 race car and tossed out the rule book to create the unhinged 919 in pursuit of lap records. The Weissach team has already gone around Belgium’s Spa Francorchamps faster than Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes F1 car.
For the ‘Ring run, Porsche needed a morning slot to attempt a record lap because higher midday temperatures are no good for the 919 Evo’s tyres. The first two laps were already in the mid-fives, but Bernhard nailed the third one with that 5:19.55. At the fastest point he hit 369.4km/h, averaging an incredible 233.8km/h around the 20.8km track.