Want to know who makes the fastest cars ever to lap Europe’s most legendary racing circuits? Look no further than Porsche. And Weissach will bring its two record-holders together at the Nürburgring next week.
Pictured here are the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo and 956 Group C racer. The former is the one with which the automaker broke the lap record at Spa just last month. And the latter still holds the outright lap record on the Nordschleife.
Now as you can probably tell from looking at them, several decades separate the two. It was 1983 when Stefan Bellof man-handled his 956 around the Nürburgring in 6:11.13, and that record still stands to this day.
The 919 Evo, on the other hand, is based on the prototype with which Porsche won the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 6 Hours of Nürburgring (held on the shorter grand prix circuit) the past three years running.
With its hybrid powertrain untouched but its chassis unburdened by any regulations, the 919 Evo is in the middle of a world tour. After setting the Spa record, besting even Lewis Hamilton’s best effort, this will mark the first time it will run in public. Unfortunately, it won’t be out to set any lap records. Both it and the 956 will run behind a safety car, and skip part of the start/finish straight where the grid will be forming for the 24-hour race to follow. But it will surely be a sight to behold.
Driving the 919 will be Timo Bernhard, who sealed the FIA WEC title, Le Mans win and his third 6 Hours of Nürburgring victory. He’s also won the Nürburgring 24 Hours a record five times, and will be running his own team in this year’s race. Joining Bernhard in the 956 will be none other than Hans-Joachim Stuck, who won at Imola with Bellof in another 956. That was in 1984, the year after Bellof set the Nordschleife record – and the year before he died in a crash at Spa.