On his way to his 1984 Driver’s World Endurance Championship title, Stefan Bellof once shared a 956 with German Hans-Joachim Stuck. Despite an incident by Stuck that required repairs, the couple won the Imola 1000-kilometre race.
“This race in Italy was of very high importance for me”, 67 year-old Stuck recalls. “The 956 was new to me and Stefan taught me how to drive this ground effect car. I learnt an awful lot from him. When I joined Porsche, I understood why those cars were unbeatable. You had no gearbox issues, the brakes were excellent and thanks to this tremendous downforce, you could enter the corners at very high speed. Literally, the car stuck to the ground. For me it is a world-class opportunity to take the 956 once again around the Nordschleife. Emotionally, this is something hard to top.”
Among Stuck’s many successes belong two Le Mans overall victories in 1986 and 1987, driving the successor to the 956, the 962 C. The Nürburgring 24-Hours he won three times when driving for BMW.
The 956 C that Stuck now takes for a lap around the Nürburgring carries chassis number 005. It is the car Jacky Ickx (BE) and Jochen Mass (DE) shared during the entire 1984 world championship season. For commercial rights reasons the name of tobacco sponsor Rothmans frequently had to be replaced by the word ‘Racing’. This was the case on Bellof’s record lap chassis 007 and is the same at the car that Stuck drives on May 12.
Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo
Just like the 956, the Porsche 919 Hybrid was the most innovative racing car of its time. The class 1 Le Mans Prototype, successfully entered in the FIA WEC from 2014 until the end of 2017, is powered by a compact two-litre turbocharged V4-cylinder engine and two different energy recovery systems. One transforms brake energy from the front axle into electricity. The second system generates electric energy from the exhaust where the gases accelerate a turbine up to 130,000 revs per minute. The electrical energy is temporarily stored in a liquid-cooled lithium ion battery. The combustion engine drives the rear axle while the electro motor boosts the front axle to accelerate the car with four-wheel drive while recuperating again energy from the exhaust system.
To prepare the 919 Evo record car, the base was the 2017 world championship winning car. Its entire hardware of the power train remained untouched. On top came developments that were prepared for the 2018 WEC but never raced after the end of 2017 withdrawal. Additionally, several aerodynamic modifications were made.