Is Porsche chasing after another Nurburgring record?
Two of the fastest, most legendary cars in Porsche’s long and storied motorsport history will share track time at the upcoming Nurburgring 24-hour race which began yesterday, May 12. The 919 Evo Hybrid – a transformed Le Mans and FIA World Endurance Championship winning car – will complete a parade lap of the Nordschleife with the 956 C prototype that won every title in the World Sportscar Championship from 1982 to 1984 and still holds the outright track record.
The lap will actually be the 919 Evo’s first public appearance. It’s a car that has been unleashed from the championship regulations in order to chase lap times, with Porsche smashing the track record at Spa-Francorchamps last month. No stopwatches will be present next weekend as the cars will follow the safety car and bypass the start-and-finish section because of the grid formation for the 24-hour race. However, just because Porsche won’t chase a lap time on May 12 doesn’t mean the company won’t chase the overall lap record at some point before or after the 24-hour event, the symbolism and significance of pairing the two cars together is rather blatant.
On May 28 in 1983, during practice for the 1000-kilometre race at the Nurburgring, Stefan Bellof lapped the Nordschleife piloting a 956 C in an absurd 6:11.13 minutes with an average speed of more than 200 km/h. The 919 Evo and 956 C will be driven by Timo Bernhard, and Hans-Joachim Stuck, respectively. “I’m not only impressed by Stefan Bellof’s great performances”, Bernhard explains, “he must have been a really great guy. Whoever knew him seems to have adored him. His 1983 unbeaten lap record at the Nordschleife is terrific. I feel honoured to accompany a historic Porsche 956 C with the 919 Evo.”