Last Friday morning Timo Bernhard lapped the 20.832km Nürburgring Nordschleife race circuit in five minutes and 19.55 seconds — a new record. This results in an average speed of 233.8km/h on what is revered by race drivers, engineers and enthusiasts alike as the world’s most difficult track. Driving the Porsche 919 hybrid Evo, Bernhard beat the previous lap record, set by Stefan Bellof, by 51.58 seconds. For 35 years and 31 days Bellof’s 6:11.13 record remained uncontested. The German driver from Giessen, who tragically died at Spa-Francorchamps in 1985, counted as the biggest racing talent of his time. He drove his record on May 28 1983 at the wheel of a powerful Rothmans Porsche 956 C during practice for the 1,000km World Endurance Championship (WEC) sports car race. Also, his average speed was more than 200km/h. Proud and relieved Bernhard, five-time overall winner of the Nürburgring 24-hours, two-time outright winner of the Le Mans 24-hours and reigning World Endurance Champion ...

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