NURB 000

ri A T MARKED THE END OF AN ERA AND the start of a new one. Construction of the much shorter Nurburgringlite was already underway, the

Nordschleife hosting one last 1000Kms race in May 1983. It wouldn’t be without incident, Stefan Bellof’s pole-setting time of 6 minutes 11.2 seconds aboard his Rothmans Porsche 956 the first ever 200km/h lap entering into legend in an instant. It was an extraordinary demonstration by the wunderkind, even if building work on the new track meant the old pit straight and return road at the South and North Turns had to be skirted, making for a shorter lap. The German was on stellar form come the race, leading team-mate Jochen Mass by eight seconds at the end of lap one. Bellof made way for wingman Derek Bell six laps later as Mass traded with Ickx. The gap between the two leading factory Porsches stood at around 25sec, Ickx setting a new lap record of 6min 34.3sec as he tried to claw back time before the

next round of driver changes on lap 15. Bellof once again put on a charge, his impregnable confidence leading him to set a new lap record of 6min 25.9sec, only to go off in the biggest way possible at PflanIzgarten not long after. His 956 left the track at 160mph and pinballed between the Armco on both sides of the circuit before coming to a halt. Somehow Bellof walked away with only minor bruising. Slot machine magnate Walter Brun wasn’t so fortunate, destroying his Sehcar C6 and breaking his arm following an almighty shunt at Kesselchen. He smacked the barriers with such ferocity that the race was halted for 90 minutes while they were repaired. Cars were later sent out for 19 further laps (making 44 in total), with Mass surviving a scare after a rear wishbone broke at Flugpla1z. He managed to nurse the Porsche back to the pits where a replacement part was installed within 10 minutes, and despite losing the lead on the road, he and Ickx were never going to lose on aggregate. a) moue”ttwor