The Nürburgring Nordschleife is probably the most iconic racing circuit in the world. Part of the draw is the public access it offers as well as the history. Measuring 12.8 miles (20.8 km), it is longest race track currently in use. It has become somewhat essential to post a lap time on the famous Green Hell in recent years. With the growing popularity of services such as YouTube which allow us to stream videos online, we’re able to share with you some of the greatest laps in history.
Whilst we’ll never get to see any in-car footage from the classic Grand Prix era, we have seen some awesome footage from modern years. Enjoy our rundown of the greatest Nürburgring Nordschleife laps in history!
Porsche 956 – 6:37
Unfortunately, Stefan Bellof’s unbeaten time of 6:11 set during the 1983 1000k Sports Car race wasn’t immortalized on Camera. A camera fitted to the slightly slower Porsche 956 of Derek Bell reveals how extreme that lap must have been. With the period commentary and the striking image of Jacky Ickx blasting past at what seems like twice the speed, this video has its own special place in our list.
The aluminium monocoque of the Porsche 956 cradles a turbocharged Flat-6 producing approximately 635 hp. Coupled with the low 800 kg weight the Porsche 956 holds both the qualifying and race lap records for the Nürburgring Nordschleife. It wasn’t all positive though. The Porsche 956 was the car the killed Stefan Bellof at the 1985 1000 km of Spa.
Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package – 7:14.64
On August 31 2011, Lexus racing driver Akira Iida put in this 7:14.64 effort at the Green Hell. At the time it represented a new fastest time for regular production cars running on standard specification tyres. The lap itself is impressive and we highly recommend cranking up the volume to hear that finely tuned, yet what really matters with this video is the demons it put to rest.
The Nürburgring Nordschleife record came at a price with Toyota’s chief test driver, 67-year-old Hiromu Naruse suffering a fatal accident outside of the circuit.
Ruf CTR1 Yellow Bird – Just For Fun…
Stefan Roser in the Ruf CTR1 Yellow Bird. Enough said really. Stefan was, at the time, Ruf’s occasional test driver. The car travels most of the distance with its rear end facing the wrong way which means this video isn’t so much about lap times as it is about speed. You’ll note that Stefan doesn’t even use a helmet or racing suit.
The Yellow Bird has a twin turbocharged version of the Porsche 3.4 liter engine with 469 horsepower. In keeping with Ruf’s general philosophy, 28 CTR’s were allegedly built from Chassis upwards. None are quite so special as the original Yellow Bird though!
Pagani Zonda R – 6:47.50
With competitive racing now a rarity on the Nordchliefe, a category for timed laps for non-road legal cars seems to have emerged. To qualify, the car must essentially be a race car but the crucial difference is that it shouldn’t record its lap during a race meeting. With that in mind Pagani’s lap with the Pagani Zonda R nabbed the title with a 6:47.50, 10 seconds quicker than the Ferrari 599XX. Marc Basseng was at the wheel and the video shows just how quick he went.
With 740 hp under his right foot, the time was always going to be special. Underneath the familiar body shape, the components of the Zonda R were almost entirely new. It shared just 10% of its parts with the Zonda F and served in secret as a test subject for the Huayra. With an extra 50 hp, its possible that the Zonda R Revolución could push this time further in the future…
Porsche 911 GT3 R – “Rain Dance”
So, we think you’ll manage to find at least one thing wrong with this video. Part of it does actually take part on the modern Grand Prix Track it isn’t exclusively Nürburgring Nordschleife. We hope you’ll forgive that though on account of the incredible driving talent on display.
The video was filmed by YouTube’s DRIVE network earlier this year at the Nurburgring 24 Hours prior to a nine hour red-flag. The driver is Leh Keen who drove for Farnbacher Racing team over the weekend. Sadly they only managed 20 laps but what a glorious 20 laps they must have been. The Nürburgring at night in the rain, a sight very few will get to experience!
Porsche 918 Spyder – 6:57
Heroic is the first word that came to mind when we watched the Porsche 918 Spyder cross the Nürburgring Nordschleife finish line in 6:57. Nürburgring ace Marc Lieb piloted the hybrid supercar to a time just short of the Radical SR8 LM’s overall production car record. The significance of this lap is plain to see. It made McLaren and Ferrari sweat unexpectedly.
Many had expected the Porsche 918 Spyder to set a slower time due to its power disadvantage. Whereas LaFerrari puts down 963 hp and the McLaren P1 trails marginally with 916 hp, the 918 Spyder has just 887 hp to power it through. The lap time sets the benchmark and proves to Porsche’s customers that the 918 Spyder is still more of a racer than a boulevard cruiser!
Radical SR8 LM – 6:48
The Radical SR8 LM currently holds the fastest lap on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Driven by Micheal Vergers, the record attempt had clear skies and a temperature in the high-20 degree Celsius creating near-ideal track conditions. The car was driven to, on and from the Nürburgring with the same set Dunlop track tyres.
This is the lap to beat if you want the ultimate title!
Yamaha YZF R1 – 7:10
We’re not big on our bikes but we felt that we had to share the absolute fastest Nürburgring Nordschleife bike lap with you too. Afterall, both bikes and cars are usually present at the Ring in equal measures!
The time is bridge to gantry which means it isn’t actually full lap. The rider is Andy “AndyPath” Carlile and the time would apparently convert to around 7:28.