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Why Porsche Crushing The Nürburgring record is such a big deal



Photo: Porsche

It sounds incredible, as if a car would drive the 1

2.94-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife in only 5: 19.546 seconds. With an average speed of 145.3 mph, the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo drove 51.58 seconds faster than the previous lap record. What's even weirder is that the last record has been undefeated for over 35 years and was not even as big as it was played.

(Full disclosure: I was Porsches guest today for this run, which included travel, food and lodging to fly over from Texas to watch this lap record loss.)

I know we posted this onboard before have, but holy crap. The lap record is almost less believable in the onboard view, as if you're playing one of the experimental Red Bull cars that exist only theoretically in Gran Turismo .

Porsche told us that they did not let a camera go when they drove their Formula 1 car lap at Spa-Francorchamps to save extra weight, but we all know that will not fly with the Nürburgring. Obsessive ring enthusiasts have gotten a whole metallurgical industry into questioning every lap time announced for the ultra-realistic Nordschleife, where most & # 39; Ring times & # 39; are fixed.

We need the receipts now if you want to pronounce anyone the new King of the Ring, and here they are, complete with a picture-in-picture view of Driver Timo Bernhard's bobbing helmet. Porsche even overlaid some of the basic data recorded by a Vbox in the car, the onboard video above, that's nice to have.

Photo: Porsche

It is important to note that obsession over ring times is a relatively modern phenomenon. When Stefan Bellof presented today the long time of 6: 11,13 exactly 35 years ago and 31 days ago, he was barely noticed. In fact, there was only one page on which it was documented when we went through Porsches historical archive with Bellof's lap.

The only record of Bellof's record-breaking lap was this timing sheet from qualifying to the 1983 Nürburgring 1000 kilometers.
Image: Porsche Archives
The lap record of the Nürburgring for 35 years and a month, Stefan Bellof.
Photo: Porsche Archives

Bellof made an invulnerable lap in qualifying for the race, so the only real mention of his record time of 6: 11.13 was on a qualifying results page. Bellof's Porsche 956C was later summed up during the race after Bellof also clocked the fastest lap of 6: 25.91. During the race Bellof turned the car and destroyed it, but somehow managed to sign autographs for fans. In 1984 he won the sports car World Cup, but died in 1985 in Spa Francorchamps in a fall. It was a tremendous loss of a promising young racer.

As far as his notes are concerned, it took years to speak with the kind of homage that it still had today when the 919 Hybrid Evo defeated it. For everyone that day, the 956C was expected to be faster than its predecessors, and just a routine to make a quick run in practice.

Porsche Chief Technology Officer Norbert Singer told Jalopnik that Bellof's record was not planned at all. It was just normal work. When the time came, some of Singer's teammates asked that the time was a mistake, but that's as much attention as it has been for years.

Bellof's car on the track.
Photo: Porsche Archives

However, we all know that the cult of the Ring era is alive. Bellof's lap has, over the years, developed a strange myth about it, including unfounded claims that Porsche and everyone else had some sort of superstition about beating his lap. Both the archivists of Porsche and the singers of Singer said that was not true – rather, there was no car that was fast enough to beat Bellof's scheduled laps on the track.

I have a feeling that & # 39; Ring Time Mania & # 39; coincided with the rise of the Internet as an accessible, omnipresent thing. That's when I realized for the first time that people in Germany are actually looking after a track anyway. Anyone Who "Acquires" Top Gear remembers that Jeremy Clarkson was beaten by a local racer and my only true girl bitch, Sabine Schmitz, in a transit car.

Entire forums and websites now track every movement of vehicles that fall on tourist trips or business hours. We are obsessed with strange things and fast times alike. It is testament to the high online character of car enthusiasm today that someone like me, who lives from the Nürburgring across a whole big ocean, will drive faster for new cars on a particular race track in the world.

Porsches lap today is the satisfying top of the 'Ring Time Mania'. These cars like the 919 Hybrid Evo and Volkswagen Pikes Peak Record I.D. R are currently delivering speed records that are all too often missing in many modern racing series. Bike-to-bike races need some parity between cars to make it interesting, and to give every rider or team a chance to win. That's okay, but sometimes you just want to see oversized cars that provide a rough, nasty speed. That's why we love ring times so much even when we're not physically there.

Photo: Porsche

The Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo is a technical marvel based on the Porsche Le Mans prototype, which won the Le Mans 24 Hours from 2015 to 2017, but now freed from the limitations of a racing series is. That means its hybrid powertrain now emits 1160 horsepower, its active aerodynamics produces more than 50 percent more downforce and the weight has dropped to just 1872 pounds.

It was surreal to personally watch this lap record because it came back much faster than you would expect from a car. Once the car was outside, there really was not even a chance for a swim break, unless you were able to pee quickly in the building they had opened for that purpose, which was just a short walk from the tent of the 919 was removed.

Want some incredible statistics? Today's top speed on the notoriously dangerous, winding Nordschleife was 229.5 miles per hour.

Photo: Porsche

[This post has been updated since publication.]


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