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Porsche 918 Spyder Ring record drive: New fabulous time at the Nürburgring

Porsche 918 Sypder Ring record drive
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You were so 100% sure about P orsche then not. After countless test drives on the Nordschleife, it was perfectly proven: the new super sports car 918 Spyder with hybrid technology is extremely fast - faster than anything that Porsche had previously put on four wheels for road use.

And that made it clear: In a knowledgeable hand, the existing record of 7.11 minutes would easily be undercut. But it wasn't this question that worried 918 project manager Frank-Steffen Walliser. The question was: Let's crack the 918 the sound barrier of seven minutes?

Röhrl, Lieb and Kluck on a record hunt

The simulation software with which Today all major manufacturers work to calculate lap times in advance could not give a clear answer to the question: the computer spat out a time of almost exactly seven minutes. This left a touch of uncertainty before the attempt to set the record, which is why Frank-Steffen Walliser preferred to play it safe.

With Walter Röhrl, he ordered the most famous Porsche brand name for the Nürburgring, and with Timo Kluck he brought in the most proven test driver from the Porsche test drive and with Marc Lieb one of the most successful and fastest GT drivers from the racing team of the sports department from Weissach. Because if it goes up or down by a second in the end, a little competition is certainly not wrong.

On two consecutive days (3/4 September 2013), Porsche had early mornings and late ones In the afternoon four exclusive slots of one hour each were booked on the Nordschleife. On Tuesday morning, Timo Kluck and Walter Röhrl were deployed. Kluck had never driven the car at all up to this point, his brain had to gradually get used to the speed, so to speak.

“You can do 30 km /h more before every bend than in any other road car I've ever driven at the Nürburgring, ”said Kluck. “I felt like I was in a film that was fast-forwarding.” Nevertheless, Kluck immediately set lap times between 7.06 and 7.09 minutes.

Porsche 918 record at dawn

Walter Röhrl , which has the knows the Porsche 918 Spyder better from test drives, was even a bit faster with 7.04 minutes - Time really seems to pass by without a trace on this racing giant. “But I'll leave the record break on Wednesday to the young and wild ones,” said the 66-year-old ex-rally world champion.

On the service afternoon, Marc Lieb also rushed to the Nürburgring. He had climbed off the plane from Sao Paulo that morning, still with a slight jet lag. The Ludwigsburg driver last drove the 918 on the Nordschleife in July and also had to shoot himself in again.

'I come from GT racing, and these cars have a lot of downforce, but comparatively little engine power. With the Porsche 918 Spyder it's exactly the other way around: With 887 hp, this car has a lot of power - but relatively little downforce and on top of that no slick tires, but road tires. '

Lieb drives 6:57 minutes in the second attempt

In any case, the Porsche record team had beaten the existing record with every single lap by Tuesday evening - but what was missing was the time less than seven minutes. “Tomorrow morning, the chances are best,” said Frank-Steffen Walliser, “then the air will be cooler, that will help the combustion engine and will certainly take a few seconds. At 6.30 a.m. the advance command started to inspect the route one last time, and from 7 a.m. it was time to fire. Marc Lieb went on the track at 7:03 a.m. - and came back with a record: 6.59 minutes! Close, but done. “Wait, we still have three more attempts,” said Walliser.

Timo Kluck managed 7.01 minutes with the sister car on the first flying lap, after which the two record drivers swapped vehicles, because based on the experiences made so far, that was second car from Kluck with the internal code SEP008 faster. And that's exactly how it was: Lieb improved the time again by two seconds to 6.57 minutes!

Will the Porsche 918 Nürburgring record be broken?

How does that feel in the car? 'To be honest: completely unspectacular,' said Marc Lieb on record. “I really didn't take any chances, just implemented the car's performance. The drivability is absolutely phenomenal and if you look at Timo Kluck's lap times, it is clear how close it all is. And the reason for this is simply the very good drivability - despite the gigantic high system performance of 887 PS, despite the weight of over 1,600 kilos and despite the fact that we drove here with road tires. '

Project manager Frank -Steffen Walliser was also very satisfied: “A perfect spot landing, compliments to the drivers and the team of technicians. Now we have firstly proven that the hybrid drivemaking a sports car even faster, many did not want to believe that. And secondly, we have set a milestone in developing lap times on the Nordschleife. I'm curious to see what the competition will do now. “Of course we're talking about Ferrari and McLaren, who are also currently developing hybrid supercars. With this in mind: Greetings to Maranello.


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