Three-time Le Mans-winning and recently retired Porsche 919 Race Car (nearly 1200 hp) just beat the lap record at Spa in Belgium, beating Lewis Hamilton’s F1 pole position-setting lap time by a good margin. It also beat the Nürburgring lap record by over one minute.
This is a big deal, because the Porsche 919 is a European Race Car and not a Formula One car. Yet it just beat Lewis Hamilton’s pole position-setting lap time in his F1 Mercedes at Spa.
Most people believe that Formula One cars are faster, more technical and more capable than any other race car on the planet. If this sub-five minute lap time is accurate, Porsche just shattered that notion. The Porsche 919 Race Car just beat arguably the best F1 driver (Lewis Hamilton), driving arguably the fastest F1 car in the world (the Mercedes-Benz World Champion F1 car) at the Spa-Francochamps Race Track in Belgium.
In true Porsche fashion, the legendary company then took it’s Le Mans-Winning racer to Germany and the famed (and extremely dangerous) Nürburgring Race Track. With German factory driver Timo Bernhard at the wheel (who just last year
took home the trophy at the 24 of Le Mans in the 919), the car reportedly did its best one lap (nearly 14 miles) at or under the five minute mark. The Nürburgring is universally regarded as the toughest and most dangerous track in the racing world.
As a comparison, the million-dollar street car, the Porsche 918, set a production car record lap time at the Nürburgring at just a hair under seven minutes. Very fast, but not nearly as fast as a full blown Le Mans race car.
Here, and with the 919 Race Car, Porsche also beat their own 30 years-held record set lap set by their very own Porsche 956 (which previously set the record lap time at lap at 6:11) by well over one minute.
It appears that no one can now claim Porsche is “less than” because it does not compete in Formula One. It becomes fairly obvious at this point in racing history that European sports car racing is just as technical, costly and as fast as any Formula One Program, and probably more so, at least insofar as we are talking about Porsche race cars versus Formula 1’s best.
The new lap record just set by Porsche at the Nurburgring of at or below five minutes is a major achievement and was performed under less than optimal conditions so one can only assume that in ideal weather conditions the car would even best this unbelievable new time.
This video shows the moment the new record purportedly occurred.
Way to go, Timo–and Porsche!