Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo Spotted on the Nürburgring Gunning for a Lap Record
This untamed LMP1 car has been seen testing on the Nordschleife to beat the all-time lap record another Porsche set 35 years ago.
Stefan Bellof set the all-time lap record on the Nürburgring's 12.9-mile-long Nordschleife circuit in 1983 during qualifying sessions for the 24 Hour Nürburgring race, behind the wheel of a Porsche 956. The record, a blistering time of 6:11.13, remains unbeaten 35 years later. However, fans spotted Porsche at the 'Ring on June 4 attempting to break its own record with the unrivaled 919 Hybrid Evo.
YouTube channel Nurburgringlivepics Video compiled a video of a few different angles from the 919 Hybrid's test runs on the Nordschleife, and there's little doubt from the speeds this car reached that it has the means to break the record of the 956.
Two months ago, Porsche's modified Le Mans Prototype made waves when it set a lap record at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, which was previously held by Lewis Hamilton in a Formula 1 car.
According to tweets posted by Porsche's LMP1 team, the 919 Hybrid Evo was piloted by Timo Bernhard, Porsche factory driver and five-time 24 Hours Nürburgring winner, one of many racing achievements he boasts.
However, some sources claim that Porsche's activity at the Nürburgring this week was merely to test the car's capabilities on the Green Hell. YouTuber Misha Charoudin, a resident at the 'Ring who was there all day watching the 919 test, believes Porsche will come back to the track later this year to set an official time with a different driver.
Charoudin observed Michelin's officials testing the track temperatures, which are less than ideal for a record run, but says the LMP1 car may have still unofficially set a new time.
Stationed just past the pits, Charoudin used the track marshals' radio chatter and his own method of timing as well as the Porsche 911 GT2 RS' lap record and some math to predict the 919 Hybrid Evo's lap times. Taking some factors like marshal reactions into account, he believes that the car set a 4:51 time on the low end, or in the 5:10 range on the high end.
Charoudin explains his reasoning in the video below.
More than a minute faster than the 956 may seem too good to be true, but the 919 Hybrid Evo has a few tricks up its sleeve. Porsche took the already-impressive 919 Hybrid and threw the FIA World Endurance Championship's book of restrictions out the window, turning the 919's power up to 720 horsepower and giving it larger aero pieces with an amped-up Drag Reduction System.
We reached out to Porsche regarding the 919 Hybrid Evo's activity at the Nürburgring, and Product Spokesperson Frank Wiesmann had this to say: "[The 919 Hybrid] has already proven it’s [sic] potential at Spa. Should there be other activities with this car in the future, we will reveal them at the appropriate time."
In other words, everyone except Porsche's LMP1 team are keeping their mouths shut until conditions are right to set the fastest lap possible. If the Evo does become the new Nordschleife champion, it will be a great way to end the vaunted 919 Hybrid's career.