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Bellof, the 956 and a record: The relativity of the Nordschleife

Stefan Bellof was regarded as the greatest German motorsport talent: Today, 36 years ago, the young racing driver makes history in a Porsche 956 and circles the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in just 6:11.13 minutes.

Text: Marko Knab Photo: Porsche 28.05.2019 1 min

There are people who are ahead of their time. In the case of Albert Einstein, it was 101 years: It was not until 2016 that parts of his theory of relativity were proven. For Stefan Bellof it was not a century on 28 May 1983, but only 5.72 seconds ahead of his teammate Jochen Mass. But the waves they made are still perceptible today. It's the day a sound barrier falls: With a time of 6:11.13 minutes and an average speed of 202.053 kilometres per hour on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, the 25-year-old from Gießen has set an incredible benchmark. And sets himself a monument to eternity, at the wheel of the legendary Porsche 956.

How did he do it? For ex-Formula 1 pilot Martin Brundle, the explanation is quite simple: Bellof, the thin man with the blond curls and contagious laugh, is the fastest creature he's ever seen in a car. But is that all? However, we are sure that a little bit of the theory of relativity was also involved: It says that time is slower for very fast moving objects than for resting ones.

P.S: It was not until 35 years later that Bellof's record lap on the Nordschleife was undercut: Timo Bernhard cracks the time of his youth idol at the wheel of the Porsche 919 Evo in 2018. With 5:19.546 minutes he breaks the previous record by 51.58 seconds.