The Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo crushed the ‘Ring record
Porsche hasn’t just beaten the outright Nurburgring lap record, it has utterly obliterated it, recording a blistering 5:19:55 time in its 919 Hybrid Evo to shatter a record that has stood for 35 years.
Consider that for a moment; it took Porsche less than five-and-a-half minutes to conquer the Green Hell’s 20.832km. Let’s put it this way, the on-board video shows the 919 spending an incredible amount of time north of 300km/h, with the needle clipping 369km/h on the main straight.
It’s a video well worth watching, too. Partly for the scenery-warping speed of the lap, but also to get some sort of handle on the immense commitment needed to muscle a car around a circuit at that kind of pace.
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The man behind the madness was Porsche driver Timo Bernhard, a 37-year-old German wheelman – and current World Endurance Champion – who also has victories at Le Mans under his belt.
The previous lap record, set by a Porsche 956 C, had been in place for more tan three decades, with German driver Stefan Bellof recording a time of 6:11:13 minutes. Taking to Twitter after the lap, Bernhard praised Bellof for his trailblazing lap all those years ago.
“Having experienced the lap today, I have an even higher respect for Stefan Bellof and what he achieved on the Nordschleife 35 years ago,” Bernhard says.
“Thanks to everyone at Porsche for the phenomenal performance today. Truly special experience.”
It’s probably obvious that Porsche’s 919 Evo is no road car. Instead, it’s the brand’s multi-Le Mans-winning LMP1 car, which is currently on a “919 Tribute Tour” of racetracks around the world. Having now set new lap records at Spa-Francorchamps and the Nurburgring, the next stop is the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.
For the tour, Porsche engineers “unchained” the 919, undoing the mandatory restrictions needed for racing and instead dialling it up to 11. The car’s insanely complicated hybrid setup pairs a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine that drives the rear axle, while an electric motor powers the front.
Energy from the brakes and from the exhaust is captured and fed back into the batteries. In regular racing, that system produced 662kW, but in new unchanged guise, it’s closer to 850kW.