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I Witnessed: The fastest ever Nürburgring lap

2 years ago

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Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder


16 June 2022

It stood for 35 years, an eminence grise among all those interested in how fast a car can lap a circuit. Six minutes and eleven seconds: for three and half decades it had been the measure, an expression not only of the concept of speed, but skill, technology and courage, distilled down into a concentrate and expressed in number form.

It is, of course, the lap record set by Stefan Bellof in a Porsche 956 at the Nürburgring in the 1983 1000km, the last time top level sports car racing visited the world’s most revered and feared track.

Except it’s not the lap record. And not just because of the extraordinary goings on I was privileged to witness on June 29, 2018, but because it never was. Bellof did lap the track in 6min 11.1sec but only in qualifying. In the race without qualifying boost and tyres the most he could manage was 6min 25.9sec and as lap records are always taken from the race, that is where the real mark always lay.

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