PORSCHE SMASHES ’RING RECORD

919 Hy­brid Evo slashes nearly a minute from 35-year-old record

911 Porsche World - - News And Views -

We knew it was com­ing. Now it’s been con­firmed. Porsche has oblit­er­ated its own 35-year-old lap record at the in­fa­mous 13-mile Nür­bur­gring Nord­schleife cir­cuit in Ger­many. The ex­ist­ing lap record of six min­utes and 11 sec­onds was set in qual­i­fy­ing for the Nür­bur­gring 1000km race in 1983 by Ste­fan Bellof in a Roth­mans Porsche 956 Group C car. Porsche has slashed that to just five min­utes and 19.55 sec­onds.

The weapon of choice to achieve this deed? The Porsche 919 Hy­brid Evo, pi­loted by Timo Bern­hard. The 919 Hy­brid Evo is es­sen­tially a der­e­stricted ver­sion of Porsche’s Le Mans-con­quer­ing 919 Hy­brid LMP1 racer. Un­shack­led by the re­quire­ment to ad­here to FIA reg­u­la­tions, the 919 Hy­brid Evo has been tear­ing up track records at mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions. That in­cludes edg­ing out one Lewis Hamil­ton and his F1 pole-win­ning record set at the iconic SpaFran­cor­champs track in Bel­gium.

More specif­i­cally, the 919’s hy­brid pow­er­train now de­vel­ops a sys­tem out­put of 1160 hp. What’s more, this spe­cial Evo ver­sion weighs in at just 849kg and its mod­i­fied aero­dy­nam­ics with added ac­tive ca­pa­bil­i­ties gen­er­ate over 50 per cent more down­force than the Fia-com­pli­ant race car. The top speed achieved dur­ing the ’Ring run was 229.5mph. The record-break­ing feat is part of the 919’s year-long vic­tory tour fol­low­ing its re­tire­ment from com­pe­ti­tion at the end of the 2017 sea­son and co­in­cides with Porsche’s broader 70year an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions.

Driver Timo Bern­hard, a five-time over­all win­ner of the Nür­bur­gring 24-hours, two-time out­right win­ner of the Le Mans 24- hours and reign­ing World En­durance Cham­pion in the Porsche 919 Hy­brid, paid trib­ute to Bellof, who died in an ac­ci­dent at SpaFran­cor­champs in 1985. “For me, Ste­fan Bellof is and re­mains a gi­ant”, said Bern­hard, “to­day my re­spect for his achieve­ment with the tech­nol­ogy avail­able back then in­creased even more.”

Bern­hard also mar­velled at the mod­i­fied 919’s sheer ca­pa­bil­ity. “Thanks to the aero­dy­namic down­force, at sec­tions I never imag­ined you can stay on full throt­tle. I’m pretty fa­mil­iar with the Nord­schleife. But to­day I got to learn it in a new way”, said the 37-year-old from Bruch­mühlbach-miesau in the Ger­man re­gion of Saarp­falz.

Mean­while, Porsche’s LMP Team Prin­ci­pal An­dreas Seidl said, “as a race team we con­stantly search for chal­lenges that push a car, driver and team to op­er­ate on the limit. Con­quer­ing the ‘Green Hell’ def­i­nitely pro­vided such a chal­lenge. Since last win­ter we were pre­par­ing for that task to­gether with our tyre part­ner Miche­lin – painstak­ingly and with a great deal of re­spect for this track. To­day we have shown the full po­ten­tial of the 919 Evo.”

Of course, pedants will point out that the cur­rent ’Ring isn’t en­tirely iden­ti­cal to the one upon which Bellof and the 956 achieved im­mor­tal­ity. Like­wise, it’s no sur­prise to dis­cover that 35 years of rac­ing and tech­no­log­i­cal progress has en­abled a huge step for­ward. How­ever, such ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tions melt away when you ob­serve the stun­ning pace at which Bern­hard and the 919 hoovered up the tor­tu­ous Nür­bur­gring Tar­mac. It’s like some­thing out of a video game. See for your­self on Porsche’s of­fi­cial Youtube chan­nel at youtube.com/user/porsche.

Noth­ing lasts for­ever, not even the Nür­bur­gring’s seem­ingly un­beat­able lap record, set by Ste­fan Bellof 35-years ago in a Porsche 956. Fit­tingly Porsche smashed it with a der­e­stricted ver­sion of the 919 Hy­brid racer, driven by Timo Bern­hard, tak­ing nearly a minute off Bellof’s time

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