Timo Bernhard has beaten a record that stood for 35 years in an unrestricted version of the Porsche 919 Hybrid that took three wins at Le Mans from 2015-2017! The two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner knocked almost a minute of the previous lap record for the 20.8 km Nürburgring circuit, one of the ports of call on the racing machine’s tribute tour.
Just a few days after his 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans teammate Romain Dumas took the record at the Pikes Peak hill climb, Timo Bernhard has scored his own record on the Nordschleife (northern loop) of the Nürburgring 20.8 km set-up (a different track to that used by competitors in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring).
Bernhard – who won the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans with Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller, and the 2017 race with Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley – completed the lap in an incredible 5:19.55, obliterating the previous record of 6:11.13 achieved by Stefan Bellof at the wheel of another Porsche, the iconic 956 C, on 28 May 1983.
No longer restricted by the rules and regulations imposed by the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 2015-16-17 world champion has been tweaked to achieve this record, and the one beaten at Spa-Francorchamps by Neel Jani in April (see The Porsche 919 Hybrid winner at Le Mans kicks off farewell tour with a record at Spa).
The Porsche 919 Hybrid was also spotted at Nürburgring during the 24-hour race run there last May. Its appearance was part of a worldwide ‘tribute tour’ that began in Spa and has since taken the car to New York and Shanghai (see The Le Mans-winning Porsche 919 Hybrid on a night-time drive through Shanghai).
Photo (Rossen Gargolov - Porsche): The Porsche 919 Hybrid in the ‘Green Hell’ of Nürburgring.