QOTD: Do You Still Care About Nürburgring Lap Records?

Illustration for article titled QOTD: Do You Still Care About Nürburgring Lap Records?
Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Earlier this week, Mercedes-Benz announced it set a production car lap record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife using the new AMG GT Black Series, with a time of 6:43.616. The previous record-holder, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, ran a 6:44.97 in 2018.

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Piloted by Mercedes factory driver Mario Engel, the GT Black Series remained on its factory Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R MO tires for this session. The car was said to be in stock guise, though the anti-roll bars, coilover suspension, front and rear aero and camber were all tweaked in setup to extract every precious tenth.

And yet, despite all this fanfare, 6:43.616 doesn’t technically stand as the new Nürb time to beat. In 2019, the route constituting an official lap around the Nordschleife was altered by a little over 200 meters. The GT Black Series’ lap around that official route — a 6:48.047 — is therefore the actual new production car record, though Lamborghini didn’t run that configuration two years ago. Mercedes evidently chose to submit two times, rather than win on a technicality. A bit silly, but I can respect it.

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But even then, some may argue that neither the GT Black Series nor the Aventador SVJ should’ve ever laid claim to the production car record for the old track to begin with. In 2017, Lanzante took the road-legal McLaren P1 LM around the Green Hell, clocking a 6:43.22 with Kenny Bräck at the helm. Perhaps there are some criteria the P1 LM‘s lap doesn’t adhere to — it wasn’t run by a manufacturer, or there weren’t enough vehicles produced to qualify as an official lap record. Whatever the case may be, the fine print that seems to accompany every proclaimed ‘Ring record has me a bit sour on the whole charade.

What say you, though? Do you look forward to automakers smashing each others’ Nürburgring lap records, or are you over the never-ending one-upmanship?

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. 2017 Fiesta ST. Wishes NASCAR was more like Daytona USA.

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DISCUSSION

idiotwhosolde39m5
Idiot who sold e39 m5

Absolutely! The Nurburgring is common enough that most performance cars have a lap time around it. It’s a much better indicator of overall performance than horsepower or 0-60 numbers. That said, I don’t really care about new records from cars I can’t afford. This might just be my age showing, but most performance cars are fast enough for me now. I now care more about feel and driving experience.