With Porsche testing its 919 Evo at the Nordschleife this week, lap time speculation has been rife. It’ll almost certainly beat the outright record of 6 minutes and 11 seconds set by Stefan Bellof in a Porsche 956 way back in 1983 and comfortably go below the six-minute mark, but how much lower will it be?
Some have suggested that it’ll actually go under five minutes, based on a simple calculation: the ex-LMP1 car - modified beyond what would be allowed if it was still competing in the World Endurance Championship - was 34 per cent faster than a GT3 car at Spa Francorchamps. So using a typical Nordschleife GT3 time as a reference and doing the maths, you end up with an astonishing 4:51 lap.
Sounds absurd, but it might actually be possible. Nurburgring-based YouTuber and CT friend Misha Charoudin - who predicted the lap times for the 911 GT2 RS and the 991.2 GT3 RS to within a second - has crunched the numbers, with some interesting results. This is where it gets a little complicated, as with the 919 coming into the pits at the end of its quickest run and slowing down about two and a half miles before the finish, it’s not a case of simply using a stopwatch.
What Charoudin did instead is use radio chatter from marshals to find out roughly how long it took the car to reach each marshal post, then using the 911 GT2 RS lap as a reference point. For instance, it passed Breidscheid at 2:42, a massive 30 seconds quicker, giving a difference factor of 0.81.
In the end, Misha works out that a factor of 0.76 is about right, giving a time of 5:09, over one minute faster than Bellof’s time.
Could it better that time by 10 seconds or more? It isn’t outside the realms of possibility - this was a very early effort from Porsche, and track conditions weren’t ideal. We can’t wait to see what this car can do.
Image via Tom Stamp