This is not fast-forward.
The Nürburgring Nordschleife is the definitive track for high-performance cars and a place where automakers from around the globe use lap times to measure their vehicle’s greatness. A fast lap here catches the attention of enthusiasts, the media, and buyers alike; having the fastest lap time means that you have bragging rights until it is broken. Timo Bernhard and Porsche are kings of the Green Hell once again with the fastest lap time ever at the legendary 12.94-mile track.
The record-setting weapon of choice was the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo – an unrestricted and modified version of the now-retired racecar that participated in the FIA World Endurance Championship. It was more powerful, lighter, equipped with new tech, and had better aerodynamics than what the FIA WEC specifications would allow for racing.
At the Green Hell with Bernhard behind the wheel, the 919 Hybrid Evo was unrestricted and ready to be unleashed.
The previous record was held by Stefan Bellof, who was able to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in just 6:11.13 minutes while driving a 620 bhp Rothmans Porsche 956 C during a practice session for the 1,000-km WEC sports car race in 1983. In 1985, Bellof, who was considered one of the most talented drivers of the era, lost his life while racing at Spa-Francorchamps. Bernhard honored Bellof at the 2015 WEC Spa-Francorchamps 6-hour race on the 30th anniversary of Bellof’s death by wearing a helmet with the same Black-Red-Gold design that the star driver wore.
Exactly 35 years and 31 days after Bellof set the Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record, Bernhard was able to honor him again by breaking his long-held record by 51.58 seconds with a mind-bending 6:11.13-minute lap time.
“This is a great moment for me and for the entire team – the 919 program’s icing on the cake. The Evo was perfectly prepared and I have done my best on this lap. 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 Bernhard.
The Porsche 919 Hybrid was able to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans three consecutive years from 2015 to 2017 but was even faster here in Evo form. The team worked over the winter to modify the car so that it produced an incredible 1,160 horsepower while weighing in at just 1,872 lbs. There’s also 50-percent more downforce thanks to larger aerodynamic bits. The Evo model also gained a four-wheel brake-by-wire system and a different power steering system. Weight was also cut by 86 lbs. thanks to the removal of air conditioning, the windshield wiper, pneumatic jacks, sensors, lights, race-spec electronics, and more. Michelin also developed a special tire compound to take advantage of the 919 Evo’s ability to produce more downforce than an F1 car.
The incredible 5:19.55-minute lap time on the Nürburgring Nordschleife won’t be the last stop for the Porsche 919 Evo. The unrestricted racer will also make appearances at Spa=Francorchamps, the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Festival of Porsche at Brands Hatch, and the Porsche Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca.
Porsche 919 Evo Nürburgring Nordschleife Gallery