Porsche’s 919 Hybrid Evo has broken the Nürburgring-Nordschleife lap record, the heavily-modified LMP1 car touring the legendary German circuit in 5m19.55s as part of its #919Tribute world tour.
Just a few days after his former 24 Hours of Le Mans teammate Romain Dumas set a new overall record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Timo Bernhard scored his own record aboard the car for the record-setting lap around the 20.8km/12.9-mile circuit, the reigning FIA WEC champion beating Stefan Bellof’s historic 6m11.13s lap that was set with a Porsche 956C in 1983 and had stood as the track record for 35 years.
Watch an on-board view of the lap:
This feat comes after Neel Jani broke the Spa-Francorchamps lap record earlier this year in the heavily modified 1160 horsepower 919 Hybrid Evo, with a 1m41.8s set at Spa-Francorchamps by Neel Jani in April.
Earlier this month, Bernhard (pictured below celebrating the run with his crew) spoke to RACER about the record attempt after completing some test runs. He explained that as a huge admirer of Bellof, it’s been a very special challenge for him personally.
“You always have to have full respect for the track, and also to recognize the challenge. Everybody knows that, in my youth, I was a great fan of Stefan Bellof. I admired him, and I’m in contact with the family. We speak from time to time — as recently as a couple of weeks ago — and that’s also important for me.
“In the end, it’s (the 919 Hybrid Evo run) is not to break the record, not to take away something, but it’s to showcase something.
“I think, from a driver’s point of view, you have more appreciation of what Stefan did 35 years ago with his car (the Porsche 956) on this track — which was even bumpier than it is today, and through traffic. It was not a clean lap. He didn’t go out at the right time, in perfect conditions, but it was a race weekend with other cars on the track. It highlights even more how astonishing it was, to set that time.
“I think running there with this car highlights how huge his achievement was, and takes nothing away from it at all.”