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World Sports Car: his greatest successes

At the end of 1982, Stefan’s sponsor Gerhard Weber, the Dunlop racing team, Eberhard Hess and Günther Besier, who provided the financial support, arrange a test drive in the Kremer Porsche. The test drive takes place in Hockenheim, still in the 936 Turbo and as usual, Stefan immediately becomes serious competition for his more experienced colleagues. With the skill of a long-time professional, he steers the unknown, difficult-to-handle car across the track in style.

“With his youthful, light-hearted nature, Stefan immediately intrigued the mechanics and engineers. His daring Silverstone debut landed him recognition and respect right from the first race“.
Peter Falk, Porsche Race Director

In 1983 Bellof then gets into the World Sports Car Championship with the 956 Turbo and immediately drives like a pro. At one stage, the race director Peter Falk even has to warn him to slow down due to the heavy rain. Stefan follows his instruction and still ends up a lot faster than the other drivers. Next comes his legendary drive at the Nürnburgring. Here, Stefan drives an impressive 202 km / h on average and sets a record for eternity: 6.11,13 minutes.

“Slightly better than Niki Lauda in his day with the Ferrari Formula 1.“
Peter Wyss

Three laps later, a spectacular accident occurs. His car gets hit by low pressure and crashes on the asphalt like a ski jumper. The rear is completely destroyed; Stefan is uninjured and immediately starts giving out autographs to the fans cheering him beside the track.

“You can’t drive a 1000 km race like that, someone from the team should have pulled him back“.
Derek Bell, Team colleague

His team colleague Jacky Ickx becomes the new rival, he is not going to let some rookie steal the show. With Jochen Mass, on the other hand, Stefan forms a good relationship and Derek Bell later becomes a mentor and role model for the young talent.

“Based on the talent and on what he has shown to date, no doubt about it, one of the all-time best“.
Hans-Joachim Stuck, former racing driver

The season runs quite well for Stefan, although technical problems constantly diminish his chances of the title. And yet, he leaves everyone standing at the Norisring and even in Kyalami, a challenging and high-altitude circuit in Africa, he lands victory despite a particularly fuel-efficient driving style with a two-lap lead. Despite winning a few races, Bellof only comes fifth in the end. But 1984 is his year! He signs a contract for Formula One with Tyrell and lands one victory after another in the sports car. He is disqualified for a short period for alleged underweight, but this is withdrawn shortly thereafter. This year Stefan is not only German racing champion but also sports car world champion. His victories also earn him the Major ONS Cup as the most successful German motor sportsman.

“Stefan laughed a lot, gladly and often so intensively that he had to gasp for breath. But in the racing car, he was courageous, tough and totally focused on winning. The young Rosemeyer must probably have been like this“.
Manfred Jantke

In 1985 Stefan and Porsche part company and he drives in a private C group for Walter Brun and thus against his old works team. There is, however, a new rule that reduces fuel consumption, which is anything but fun for Stefan. In his very first race, he uses too much, of course, with his high-speed driving, landing him in 3rd place instead of 1st place. Frustrating! And it does not get any better: he has to cancel a race for a Formula 1 test drive that then does not actually take place. Once he is disqualified due to breaking a rule while refuelling. He can only breathe a sigh of relief again at the Norisring, where he races outside the World Championship and its rules. Finally, he is allowed to rip across the track again, although technical problems cost him the leadership for a short while. Then another setback in July: his car suddenly stops in the burning heat, nothing works. Stefan is devastated.

“He did not want to either. He also said, "You know, if I had my way, I wouldn’t drive at all."“
Horst Langner, Angelika’s brother

All hope is then placed on the next race in September. The race in Spa in September, however, is overshadowed by the death of the racing driver Manfred Winkelhock; one of many drivers fatally injured at this time in accidents. Stefan does not really want to drive, but then does bring himself to do it.

Gallery

1983 Rennen Le Mans, Jochen Mass und Stefan Bellof | © Porsche AGRennteam Spa 1984, 02.09.1984 1000 km Spa; Rennteam v.l.n.r.: Stefan Bellof, Derek Bell, Jochen Mass, Jacky Ickx, Vern Schuppan und John Watson | © Porsche AG13.-15.7.1984 Int. ADAC 1000 km Rennen Nürburgring | © Porsche AG956 KH in der Box beim 1000 km-Rennen am Nürburgring 1984, an der Türe: Walter Näher, Fahrer: Derek Bell und Stefan Bellof, Gesamtsieger | © Porsche AGLe Mans 1983 mit Porsche 956, Personen v.l.n.r. Eberhard Braun, Roland Bemsel, Ed Peter (hinten mit Kamera), N.N., Stefan Bellof | © Porsche AGStefan Bellof auf Porsche 956 KH in Spa 1985 , Kurve la Source | © Porsche AGRennen Nürburgring (1000 km) 1984, Porsche 956: vorne Stefan schnallt Bell an, hinten: Mass und Ickx beim Fahrerwechsel | © Porsche AGRennen 1000 km Spa 1984 Start | © Porsche AGPortrait | © Porsche AGNürburgring 1983, Bischof, Schmidt, Bellof | © Porsche AG1000km Imola 1984 (Gesamtsieger), Brun Jägermeister-Porsche, Bellof und Stuck | © Porsche AGDRM auf dem Norisring 1985, im Fahrzeug vorne links: Stefan Bellof, im Fahrzeug vorne rechts: Manfred Winkelhock | © Porsche AGRennen Kyalami 1983; Porsche Typ 956 KH, Porsche Rennfahrer v.r.n.l.: Vern Schuppan, Al Holbert, Stefan Bellof, Derek Bell, Jochen Mass, Jacky Ickx | © Porsche AGMonza 1984, Fahrer: Stefan Bellof und Derek Bell, Sieger des Rennens | © Porsche AGHockenheim 1985, Fahrer: Stefan Bellof und Thierry Boutsen | © Porsche AGNorisring 1985, Sieger des Rennens | © Porsche AGSpa-Francorchamps 1984, Siegerfahrzeug von Derek Bell und Stefan Bellof, hinter dem Fahrzeug stehend: Walter Näher | © Porsche AGJohn Watson auf Porsche Typ 956 in Fuji 1984, Gesamtsieger | © Porsche AG1000km von Kyalami am 10.12.1983 | © Porsche AG1000km von Kyalami am 10.12.1983 | © Porsche AG1000 km von Fuji am 30.09.1984, Startaufstellung | © Porsche AG1000 km Sandown Park am 02.12.1984: Fahrt zur Rennstrecke im öffentlichen Straßenverkehr | © Porsche AGBesonders lackierte 928 S exklusiv für die Werksrennfahrer 1984/85, lackiert von Fa. Stahl, hier die Fahrzeuge für Stefan Bellof (hinten) und Jacky Ickx | © Porsche AGStefans 1985 Dienstwagen | © Porsche AGKremer-Team bei einem DRM-Rennen in Hockenheim 1982 | © Porsche AGHockenheim 1982 | © Michael Schäfer, HüttenbergPodium-Interview Norisring (Platz 1) | © Michael Schäfer, HüttenbergDRM Nürburgring 1984 im Brun Jägermeister-Porsche | © Michael Schäfer, HüttenbergBrun Jägermeister-Porsche | © Michael Schäfer, Hüttenberg1983 Porsche-Rennfahrer Stefan Bellof | © Porsche AGBrun Jägermeister Porsche | © Ferdi Kräling Motorsport-Bild GmbH

Results

DateRace trackChampionshipVehicleColleagueResult
29.08.1982Hockenheim (D)DRMKremer Porsche 936 T-A
05.09.1982Spa (B)WMKremer Porsche CK5Rolf StommelenA
08.05.1983Silverstone (GB)WMPorsche 956.007Derek Bell1.
29.05.1983Nürburgring (D)WMPorsche 956.007Derek BellA
18.06.1983Le Mans 24h (F)WMPorsche 956.008Jochen MassA
03.07.1983Norisring (D)GeldrennenPorsche 956.008-1.
04.09.1983Spa (B)WMPorsche 956.004Derek Bell2.
18.09.1983Brands Hatch (GB)WMPorsche 956.004Derek Bell3.
25.09.1983Zolder (BEL)ETCCBMW 635 CSiChristian DannerDNF
02.10.1983Fuji (JPN)WMPorsche 956.009Derek Bell1.
10.12.1983Kyalami (SA)WMPorsche 956.009Derek Bell1.
23.04.1984Monza (I)WMPorsche 956.009Derek Bell1.
13.05.1984Silverstone (GB)WMPorsche 956.009Derek Bell10.
30.06.1984Norisring (D)DRMPorsche 956.116-3.
01.07.1984Norisring (D)GeldrennenPorsche 956.116-3.
15.07.1984Nürburgring (D)WM & DRMPorsche 956.009Derek Bell1.
29.07.1984Brands Hatch (GB)WMPorsche 956.116Harald Grohs5.
05.08.1984Mosport (CDN)WMPorsche 956.009Derek Bell4.
02.09.1984Spa (B)WMPorsche 956.009Derek Bell1.
16.09.1984Imola (I)WMPorsche 956.116H.-J. Stuck1.
23.09.1984Nürburgring (D)WMPorsche 956.116John Watson1.
30.09.1984Fuji (JPN)DRMPorsche 956.116-1.
02.12.1984Sandown Park (AUS)WMPorsche 956.009Derek Bell1.
14.04.1985Mugello (I)WMPorsche 962-107Thierry Boutsen3.
28.04.1985Monza (I)WMPorsche 962-107Thierry BoutsenDQ
12.05.1985Silverstone (GB)WMPorsche 962-107Boutsen/Brun10. (ohne Bellof)
29.06.1985Norisring (D)DRMPorsche 956.116-1.
30.06.1985Norisring (D)GeldrennenPorsche 956.116-5.
14.07.1985Hockenheim (D)WMPorsche 956.116Thierry BoutsenA
01.09.1985Spa (B))WMPorsche 956.116Thierry BoutsenU

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