Porsche driver Timo Bernhard behind the wheel completed the notorious circuit in 5min 19.545sec – shattering Stefan Bellof's 1983 lap record of 6min 11.13sec.
The record was achieved in a 919 Evo - based on Porsche’s successful Le Mans 24 Hours racer, which won the 24-hour event last year before the firm withdrew from endurance racing. Porsche and Bernhard broke the record earlier today, with a time of 5min 24.375sec, but a subsequent attempt smashed the record once again.
Freed of the need to meet the class regulations, Porsche dramatically reworked the 919 for a ‘Tribute Tour’, radically reworking the machine’s aerodynamics to produce 53% more downforce, while reducing its weight by 39kg to 849kg. Porsche has also reworked the hybrid powertrain so the two-litre V4 engine produces 710bhp, with an extra 433bhp coming from an electric motor.
As part of the Tribute Tour, Neel Jani used the 919 Hybrid to lap the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium in a record 1min 41.770secs, eclipsing the record of 1min 42.553secs set by Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes during qualifying for the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix.
The machine also ran at the Nordschleife for a photoshoot with the Porsche 956C ahead of the Nürburgring 24 Hours recently. Ahead of the announcement of the reord, the car was spotted on the 'Ring, lapping at speed with Timo Bernhard driving – with the circuit exclusively hired out by Porsche.