The Ever Changing Nürburgring Lap Times & Record
Nürburgring production car lap times give an interesting insight into the overall levels of performance capable of different cars over the same gruelling 21km track. Featuring a mixture of straights, fast committed corners and hairpins the ring provides a holistic challenge for any car manufacturer wishing to prove it’s cars track pedigree. Cars that have recently held the title before reluctantly passing it on to the next track special production car include; Lamborghini Huracán LP 640-4 Performante, Porsche GT2 RS (991.2) and most recently the Lamborghini Aventador LP 770-4 SVJ. Well respected car journalists such as James May and Chris Harris more recently, have criticised car manufacturers for becoming obsessed with making their cars faster at the ring. However, the fact remains that the Nordschleife remains one of the most accessible, challenging and awe-inspiring tracks in the world, meaning that it is likely to stay as a popular benchmarking technique in the foreseeable future.
Over the years Romans have had the pleasure of buying and selling many of the fastest performance cars in the world and this includes many that have set blisteringly fast laps at the Nordschleife. Unfortunately, many cars that would undoubtedly put down phenomenal lap times at the ring, such as the Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari LaFerrari and the McLaren P1, have never had official lap times posted. However here is a list of the top 10 that we have sold or currently have for sale:
Romans Cars – Top 10 Lap Times
|1||Porsche GT2 RS (991.2)||6:47||20 September 2017|
|2||Lamborghini Huracan LP 640-4 Performante||6:52||5 October 2016|
|3||Porsche GT3 RS (991.2)||6:56||16 April 2018|
|4||Porsche 918 Spyder||6:57||4 September 2013|
|5||Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce||7:00||18 May 2015|
|6||Mercedes AMG GT R||7:11||December 2016|
|8||Ferrari 488 GTB||7:22||November 2016|
|9||Porsche 911 Carrera GTS (991.2)||7:24||May 2017|
|10||Maserati MC12||7:24||August 2008|
A Brief History of the Nürburgring
The story of the Nürburgring begins in the early 1920s, when ADAC Eifelrennen races were being staged on public roads in the Eifel mountains, West Germany. The races were soon realised to be impractical and dangerous, and so the idea of building a dedicated race circuit was hatched. Following in the footsteps of Italy’s Monza and Targa Florio courses, construction of the 174 corner Nürburgring began in September 1925 and was completed 2 years later, in the spring of 1927. The first race was a motorbike and sidecar race which took place on the 18th June that year, followed the next day by a car race, in which Rudolf Caracciola was victorious in the over 5000cc class in his Mercedes Compressor. The track was then opened on evenings and weekends as a one-way toll road for the public to test their driving talents and push their latest automotive creations to the limit. The fastest lap ever completed on this old format circuit was by a French racing driver, who’s last name might sound familiar, Louis Chiron, averaging 72mph, in his Bugatti.
After World War II racing resumed at the Nürburgring, and in 1951 the Nordschleife (North-Loop) became the main venue for the German Grand Prix, ushering in a new era of Ringmeister (Ring-Masters) such as Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss and Jim Clark. During a practice session for the 1961 German Grand Prix Phil Hill famously became the first man to lap the Nordschleife in under 9 minutes, in his Ferrari 156 “Sharknose” Formula One Car. However, amid growing concerns for the safety of the track, a chicane called the Hohenrain was added in 1967 before the start finish straight, in a bid to reduce pit lane entry speeds. Despite this Jackie Stewart still went on to memorably nickname the track “The Green Hell”, after his 1968 Formula One victory amid driving rainstorms and thick fog.
In 1970 the Nürburgring was boycotted by the F1 driving community, who demanded the track be made safer by smoothing out sections of the surface, reducing the number of corners and introducing Armco barriers. Once these demands had been met the German Grand Prix was again held at the track from 1971 up until 1976, when increasing safety concerns around cars becoming air-born on certain ‘jumps’ in the track, a lack of race marshals and the difficulty of getting good television coverage on such a vast track, led to the decision being made that the 1976 German Grand Prix would be the last held on the Nordschleife. Even with this decision being made Nikki Lauda pleaded with his fellow racing drivers to boycott the 1976 race in their drivers meeting, facing terrible weather and dangerous conditions, despite knowing that he was the fastest around the circuit. His warnings were not heeded by the other drivers and he would pay a tragic price for this, crashing in the left-hand kink before Bergwerk during the race and being trapped in his flaming car for several minutes before being pulled out by race marshals. He was badly burned, permanently disfigured and nearly lost his life, a scene which is brilliantly portrayed in the biographical film Rush (2013), following the intense F1 rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt.
Fast forward to the modern-day era of the Nürburgring and it is seen by many petrol heads and enthusiasts as an automotive pilgrimage. Add this to the fact that the Nürburgring provides an extremely thorough test of every aspect of a performance track car, and this is perhaps why so many automotive manufacturers are constantly attempting to outdo one another to claim the title of production car lap record at the ring.