Porsche has smashed the Nurburgring-Nordschleife lap record after setting a 5:19.55 at the historic circuit with its 919 Hybrid Evo.
The previous lap record, set by Stefan Bellof in a Porsche 956 C, had stood for 35 years but was eclipsed by 51.58s on Thursday when Timo Bernhard hooked up a remarkable lap in the 919 Hybrid Evo. The car reached 230mph on the Döttinger Höhe straight but it was its speed through the circuit's 73 corners that beggared belief.
The 919 Hybrid Evo is a modified version of Porsche's most recent Le Mans prototype, which won the Le Mans 24-Hour race in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The same car beat Lewis Hamilton's qualifying lap record at Spa-Francorchamps earlier this year by 0.783s.
The new Nordschleife record was enough to play to the competitive nature of Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who himself crashed at the Nurburgring while trying to set a lap record in 2009, but he admitted there was no budget in place to adapt an F1 car for a record attempt.
"Funny that you say that, I thought about that this morning when I saw the time. It's obviously incredible, what they have achieved, 5:19s is almost a minute faster than Bellof did in a sport car, one and a half minutes faster than what I thought of doing and it ended up in tears.
"I've spoken with the guys this morning and they've said it's just unbelievable, it's like flying a spaceship around the track. It would be interesting to put a Formula One car on the Nordschleife and see what it does but it's pretty more my spin than a realistic idea that somebody's going to finance."