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.

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Red Bull is nothing, Porsche is everything

Porsche 956 at 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Porsche has released a highlights video from the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed showcasing its Le Mans heritage. It got us thinking, in Australia, the mainstream media just doesn’t seem to understand what a big deal it is that Mark Webber will be part of the iconic company’s return to LMP1 racing at Le Mans next year.

Of course, Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, we understand that. But Webber’s current employer Red Bull Racing, for all of the amazing thing it has achieved, is a minnow on the motorsport landscape when compared with Porsche.

Porsche is racing.

As the legendary Jacky Ickx, a six-time Le Mans winner himself (four with Porsche), says at the end of the video, “They make the soul of motor racing.”

Mark Webber will never be an F1 world champion, and that’s a shame for all Australian motorsport fans. And yet, by moving to Porsche, he has the chance to join the likes of genuine motor racing legends such as Derek Bell, Jacky Ickx, Hans Stuck and many more. All achieved so much with Porsche.

The best years of Webber’s career could still be ahead of him.

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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.