It’s final. Porsche have well and truly ripped up the record books by blowing the previous all-time lap record for the Nürburgring out of the water. The record set by Stefan Bellof 32 years ago was 6m11.13s, and was set during a qualifying lap in, yet again, a Porsche.
In 2018 it was a Porsche 919 Evo, driven by the talented Le Mans winner Timo Bernhard who whittled down a lap time of just 5m19.546s – a thunderous attempt that has imprinted him and his car into the history book of motorsports forever.
“It’s probably the most challenging track on Earth,” says Timo. “We showed today you can drive a car like this here properly. It was not a walk in the park, certainly not. it was quite exciting but exhausting, too. I wanted to keep focused and treat it like qualifying or a race weekend. The speed of the car is so high, there’s no run off, no room for mistakes. We achieved what we wanted to achieve today.”
The Evo used for this lap was able to break away from the restrictions of its life in Le Mans, and was therefore boosted to around 1,200hp. A mighty number indeed, and a figure that needs plenty of aerodynamics to keep it on the ground. Therefore, this car had 50% more downforce than its Le Mans guise with active aero coming into play, as well as technology such as torque vectoring.
Currently on its ‘919 Tribute Tour’ the car and its driver intend to break a few records in the next couple of weeks, with it only recently setting a new record at Spa. Porsche can safely say that it is fast than an F1 car – it’s amazing what getting rid of the rules can achieve (take note FIA).
The record lap was planned to go ahead earlier in the day, but due to high levels of noise, the track wasn’t opened. Even then, the record was successfully beaten within an hour of trying. Imagine placing that on your CV.
So does this call an end to records on the ‘Ring? Surely this can’t be beaten… But if it were to be beaten, who do you think would be able to do it?