The fastest, most powerful racing cars don’t compete on the Nordschleife any more. If they did, maybe one would have beaten by now the record set by Stefan Bellof in the Porsche 956 way back in 1983. Like the latest 919 Hybrid LMP1, for example. Unfortunately the track is just too tricky, too dangerous to unleash such machinery. But Porsche did the next best thing.
In preparation for the Nürburging 24-Hour race this weekend, the German manufacturer brought a 956 (like Bellof’s) together with the 919 Evo for a demonstration lap of the infamous Green Hell.
It’s the same modified prototype that broke the lap record at Spa last month. And it very well may have done the same had it been allowed to demonstrate its full capability. But instead it took a parade lap in front of 200,000 fans together with the 956.
“The get-together of those two extremely successful racing cars produced remarkable pictures,” said Porsche’s LMP1 racing chief Fritz Enzinger. “The initial idea of a farewell tour with the Porsche 919 Hybrid came up last summer, soon after the decision was made to pull out of the FIA World Endurance Championship. First we spoke about exhibitions and demo runs. But then inside the team the idea evolved to combine the tour with a try of a lap record to show the car’s true potential. This is how we began to unchain the 919 from a few restrictions that came from the regulations.”
You can catch a glimpse of the action in the video clip and images below. But this won’t be the final stop on the 919 Tribute Tour. It will return to Spa for the 24 Hour VW Fun Cup in July, then participate in the Goodwood Festival of Speed the following weekend. And it’ll visit Brands Hatch in the UK for the Festival of Porsche, and the Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca, both in September. Who knows, maybe it’ll set some new lap records along the way. But either way, the Spa and Nurburgring lap records belong to Porsche, and likely will for the foreseeable future.