“DOH!” , that was my reaction when I heard that Nurburgring was implementing speed limits on certain sections of the famed 12.9 mile Nordschleife.
This means that from now on, automakers will not be able to set a death-defying lap-record on the infamous “green hell” to prove their latest products’ worth to millions of auto enthusiasts and potential customers around the world.
Right now, the current overall lap-record holder on the ‘Ring is Porsche’s hybrid hypercar, the 918 Spyder. Earlier this year, the Porsche broke the earlier lap-record by setting a new time of 6 minutes and 57 seconds on street tires, which is quite astonishing when you think about it.
The new speed limits were imposed on parts of the Nordschleife following a fatal crash in a VLN endurance in March, when Jann Mardenborough’s factory-entered Nissan GT-R took off on a high-speed crest and left the race track, killing a spectator.
Since then, the speed limit has been imposed on all activities on the track which includes manufacturer testing, open track days for driving enthusiasts, and for any racing conducted on the track. Nurburgring GMBH officials have confirmed that they will not waive the new rules for manufacturers waiting to set a new lap-record times, even if they have rented out the entire track for themselves.
In an official statement, Carsten Schumacher, CEO of Nurburgring said “Following the tragic accident of 28 March 2015, the German Motorsport Association (DMSB) introduced speed limits for races at the Nurburgring”. In the statement, he also said that “Capricorn Nurburgring GMBH has decided to extend these speed limits to other activities on the Nordschleife, which is why record drives are currently not permitted on Nurburgring Nordschleife”.
The most recent manufacturer to be affected by this new policy is Koenigsegg, which was planning on setting a new lap record with their 1341 horsepower One:1 hybrid mega car. The company’s founder Christian Von Koenigsegg was confident that his mega car had the power and speed to lower the lap-record set by the Porsche 918 Spyder by a sizable margin. But, with these new regulations in place, we will never know how brutal and quick the Koenigsegg One:1 actually is.
In a way, this new regulation feels like the clam after a storm because over the past few years, the whole arms race between automakers to prove who is the fastest around the ‘Ring was getting out of hand. With many subcategories, automakers were fighting to claim every segment in the auto industry for themselves.
The most recent lap-record attempt was conducted by a Lamborghini test driver in the outrageously powerful Aventador SV. At the end of the lap, the Aventador SV was within 3 seconds of beating the Porsche’s lap-record. Now, it looks like the Aventador SV’s lap-record attempt will be the last of its kind.
While nobody knows for sure what the future holds about the reemergence of lap-record drives around the Nurburgring, one thing is for sure, it now looks like some revisions to the track design to slow cars in the faster sections will ultimately replace the official speed limits.
Information Source: CAR AND DRIVER
Image Source: Google Images