Just before the Nürburgring 24 Hours is green flagged this weekend, the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo (919 Tribute) and Porsche 956 C will embark on a demo run on the Nordschleife, in front of the 200,000 fans trackside.
The lap on the Nordschleife will mark the 919 Evo’s first public appearance, after it broke the Spa-Francorchamps lap record last month. It will be driven by WEC champion and Le Mans winner Timo Bernhard.
“The Nordschleife is home for me. When I was a kid I used to accompany my father to the Eifel mountains. The complexity of this over 20 kilometre long track doesn’t compare to anything.” Timo Bernhard is a passionate admirer of Stefan Bellof who died at Spa in 1985.
“I’m not only impressed by Stefan Bellof’s great performances”, he explains, “he must have been a really great guy. Whoever knew him seems to have adored him. His 1983 unbeaten lap record at the Nordschleife is terrific. I feel honoured to accompany a historic Porsche 956 C with the 919 Evo.”
Hans-Joachim Stuck will drive the 956 C, which managed a record-breaking 6:11.13 lap back in 1983 at the hands of the late Stefan Bellof. The 956 that will run at the Nordschliefe is chassis #5, which Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass shared during the entire 1984 world championship season.
“I learnt an awful lot from him (Bellof).” Stuck recalls. “When I joined Porsche, I understood why those cars were unbeatable. You had no gearbox issues, the brakes were excellent and thanks to this tremendous downforce, you could enter the corners at very high speed.
“Literally, the car stuck to the ground. For me it is a world-class opportunity to take the 956 once again around the Nordschleife. Emotionally, this is something hard to top.”
For clarity, this will not be a lap record attempt for the 919 Hybrid Evo. Both cars will drive on the circuit behind a safety car and bypass the start-and-finish section to avoid the N24 cars on the grid.