Derek Bell drives the Porsche 956 at the Nürburgring

Derek Bell drives the Porsche 956 at the Nurburgring

Earlier this year the memory of Stefan Bellof was honoured with the renaming of Pflantzgarten II to the Stefan-Bellof-S at the Nürburgring. During qualifying for the 1983 1000km race Bellof clocked a lap time of 6:11.13. More than 30 years later, it’s still the fastest ever lap recorded on the Nordschleife and the only lap to average over 200km/h.

To mark the naming of the Stefan-Bellof-S, Porsche wheeled out its 956.007, the very car Bellof drove in the 1983 1000km race at the Ring. On hand for driving duties was Porsche legend and all round nice guy Derek Bell.

After the break you can ride with Bell on a bridge to gantry lap of the Ring. It’s a comparatively sedate ride, although Bell still gets around at a pretty respectable pace. Your day will be better for watching this!


Derek Bell reunites with a Porsche 956 at the Ring

Derek Bell at the wheel of a Porsche 956 on the Nurburgring

As part of the formalities for the naming of the Stefan-Bellof-S corner at the Nürburgring, Porsche legend Derek Bell was on hand to drive the 956.007 around the Nordschelife. A teaser video has been posted to Facebook, with the promise of more to come.

In the meantime, why not check out the video after the break where Bell talks us through a lap of the Nordschleife filmed during practice for the 1983 1000km race. Incidentally, the lap time from Bell was 6:37, some time off Bellof’s 6:11 record, but it is believed to be the fastest full lap recorded on camera.

[Pic: Frozenspeed]

UPDATE: A number of amateur videos of Derek Bell’s Porsche 956 drive at the Nürburgring have been added below.


Porsche 911 sets world record at Silverstone Classic

2013 Silverstone Classic

Porsche’s ongoing celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the 911 saw a new world record set at Silverstone the weekend. Organisers were hoping to attract 911 911s to form a parade lap to honour the model. Instead a total of 1208 911s turned up for the event. The spectacular results can be seen in picture and video form after the break.

Mark Porsche, son of 911 designer, Ferdinand Alexander ‘Butzi’ Porsche, and great-grandson of the marque’s original founder, Ferdinand Porsche, was on hand to enjoy the celebrations. Also in attendance were Porsche racing legends Richard Attwood, Derek Bell and John Fitzpatrick.

Speaking at the event Mark Porsche said: “Of course, the 911 means a great deal to me as it’s my father’s big design and it will always have a special place in my heart. It’s been a family member over all the generations of the 911 series and I’m very proud to be here today to represent the Porsche family at this great event. I think that to have these 1,200 cars on track is the attention that the 911 deserves for its 50th birthday. I can’t thank the Porsche Club GB enough for making this event possible.”

Motorsports Porsche

Porsche at Le Mans: The 1980s

Porsche at Le Mans, the 1980s

Porsche continues its return to Le Mans series with a look back at the 1980s. Perhaps the best Le Mans racecars of all time, the 956 and 962, enjoyed unprecedented success during the decade. The 936 started it all, winning the race in 1981 and starting a sequence of victories for Porsche that lasted until 1987 (four wins for the 956, two for the 962).

Legendary driver Derek Bell says it best, “This car [956] set the bar for Porsche forever and they have to come back with something like this… they have to come back and do the same. People only talk about outright winners.”

It’s just a shame that Porsche is doing all this talking now and we have to wait until 2014 to see if they can deliver on their promises.


Racing Legends: Porsche 956 and 962

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had a bit of Porsche 956 content. Raced during the legendary Group C era of the 1980s, it’s a car that’s been described as “the greatest Le Mans car ever.” The 956/962 won the 24 hour race six times in a row from 1982–1987.

But it was more than that, the 956 dominated sportscar racing. At the hands of Stefan Bellof in 1983 the 956 lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6 minutes 11 seconds; still the fastest recorded lap at the Ring.

To help you get a better understanding of the 956 and the subsequent 962 here’s a short video from Porsche which was filmed at Salon Privé in London earlier this year.

One man synonymous with the 956 is Derek Bell. He won Le Mans five times and in 1982 was the first to do so in a 956. Today is Derek Bell’s 70th birthday, so it’s nice that we get to hear from him in the video too.

In 1983 Australian Vern Schuppan formed part of the winning 956 team at Le Mans. It was the spark for Schuppan to later try and produce a 962-based road car; the 962CR. Ultimately, high production costs and an extreme purchase price, at the time reported to be US$1.5 million, quickly saw its demise after only a handful were built. Although, we can’t think of too many people that would knock back 600hp in package weighing less than 1100kg.

Motorsports Porsche

Porsche says happy birthday to Derek Bell

Derek Bell, Le Mans 1983

Derek Bell is a hero to many AUSmotive readers and proudly, for him, he still seems to be a hero to the Porsche factory. As such they’ve sent out an official happy birthday wish for the five-time Le Mans winner (four with Porsche). Bell turns 70 on Monday, 31 October.

In addition to Porsche’s wishes and handful of photos, we’ve compiled some great YouTube footage of Bell talking and racing. Not only was he a bloody good driver, he appears to be a true gentlemen and is universally admired both his peers and motor racing fans the world over.

The motorsport world is better for the likes of Derek Bell and we join Porsche in wishing him a very happy birthday.