We’ve all seen our fair share of ‘hot’ laps from the Nurburgring throughout our Internet years, yet there are only a select few that actually manage to focus your undivided attention and drop your gaping maw at the same time – this is one of those rare moments.
When I was a teenaged petrolhead in the late 80’s I remember motoring-talk of some underground/dubbed VHS video showing a complete nutter by the name of Stefan Roser slinging a yellow Porsche 911 around the Nurburgring, setting a production-car lap record with this mythical beast in the process… albeit, an almost entirely sideways one.
It was called the CTR ‘Yellowbird’ and it was made by a specialty German sportscar manufacturer called RUF (The German Government recognizes RUF as a manufcturer, not a tuning company, hence the reason why you’ll never see ‘Porsche’ in the names of their creations). The performance figures alone seemed to defy the laws of right and wrong – 469 bhp and 408 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbo 3.4L flat-6 / 0-60 in 3.7 sec., 0-100 in 7.8 sec. (!) / 1170 kg / top speed: 211 mph… In 1987, it was faster than both the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959 Supercars.
In the late 90’s I managed to track down a DVD-copy (of a copy of a copy of a…) of this legendary ‘Faszination’ video and I still watch it in utter amazement. In the days of no traction control or stability aids/nannies whatsoever, this impressive feat of driving is a timely reminder of the raw skills required to harness, control and almost-balletically exploit ferociously capable power against the forces of nature. At times, Stefan Roser comes across like he’s dancing with the CTR. Oh, to be embued with the might to drive a car like this at (or even remotely near) the limit…
As you can see, Stefan wasn’t wearing gloves or even a helmet. He even managed this slice of unbelievable driving while wearing his everyday slip-on deck shoes (some say he was just wearing socks)… All of this lairiness happening on a public-day at the Nurburgring with 469 bhp slung out back and a manual transmission to negotiate (again, sideways) through it all – Truly mind-boggling and courageous.