So it’s finally happened. Stefan Bellof’s legendary lap record around the Nurburgring has finally been beaten by Timo Bernhard in that mighty Porsche LMP1 monster. Lap records around the world are, of course, being broken constantly. Porsche’s campaign to take this amazing car to famous circuits is an amazing achievement and it’s fascinating to see how staggeringly ballistic an unrestricted LMP1 car can be.
As technology advances, only changes to circuit layouts or regulations can ensure that a small number of lap records remain unchallenged for decades. Bellof’s lap record is the subject of legend, probably added to by the fact that the man is no longer with us. So, some people are actually questioning whether breaking the lap record at the Ring was the right thing to do.
Without a doubt, the circuit looks a whole lot smaller from the cockpit of the Porsche 919. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look….
Here’s Ice Driver’s Andy McKenna with his view on the whole subject.
“Ok let me explain my views.. there isnt a right or wrong here. What Porsche have done is built a Time Attack car. Its technologically breath taking and Porsche have used everything available to them to achieve that lap time. Do I acknowledge the lap?
“NO… Stefans lap was set in qualifying. He was driving a Group C Porsche like a lot of other drivers that weekend including F1 champ Keke Rosberg and endurance legend Jacky Ickx. He was in a RACING car, not a time attack ” one lap special”. He did the lap complete with traffic and could have gone quicker without a couple of mistakes and no traffic..
“So am i bothered that Stefan is no longer the fastest man around the ring? Not really because im pretty sure i wont be the only person who doesn’t see it as purely a marketing exercise.. The Porsche 919 did the lap, yes the driver was very skilled and got the car going well but im pretty sure there could be half a dozen top drivers who could have done the same lap. That’s not me pouring sour grapes over the achievement, that’s simply a fact.
Which one would i like to have sat beside?? Easy, Bellof..
“What HE did as a driver was special, very special. I think that for 6 mins and eleven seconds that cockpit was probably the most exciting place on the planet to be sitting and I would have been in awe of the young German squeezing every last bit out of the Rothmans liveried car.. With the 919 lap I would shake everyones hand and congratulate them on a wonderful time attack car..”
So should Porsche have left the record intact? Let us know what you think in the comments section below….