Nurburgring – Nordschleife Lap Times Analysis


Everytime there is a lap record beaten it is always argued by the manufacturers to the legality of the attempt and the actual class of the Vehicle.

So last night I spent some time just going through the Historic and other controversial lap records, I wasnt really interested in the class of car nor the actual legality of it on the road.

I want to do this on the Technological achievements of engine development through the Years.

In the past couple of years here are the top 5 lap times:-

Manufacturer Model Laptime
Radical SR8 LM 6.55
Ferrari 599XX 6.58
Gumpert Apollo Speed 7.11
Donkervoort D8 270 RS 7.15
Dodge Viper 7.22

All the above times has caused stirs in the industry to the legality of the record arguing that for Example:-

  1. “The Radical SR8 LM would not pass a German TUV test so is not really a Road Legal Car.”
  2. “The Gumpert is not really a mass production  sportscar so doesnt count.”
  3. “Ferrari have made there own class and the only one in it.”

All in all we could spend hours arguing over the legality and validity of the above times and also non of the above cars was scrutineered to prove it’s as per production.

So what is the conclusion of the above nothing really, but the Radical SR8 is the fastest trackday weapon for relatively little cash.

I wasnt happy with that conclusion, So I went back to the wiki to compare competition Classes, two stood out:-

Manufacturer Model Driver + Laptime Laptime
Porsche 956  1983 – Stefan Bellof 6.11
Ferrari 312T 1975 – Niki Lauda 6.58

 So my conclusion is that the Radical SR8 LM is better than the Ferrari 312T built in 1975, and still chasing the Porsche’s 956 6.11 made in 1983.

So after years of development and manufacturers insistance to add electronics and safety cells in turn increased weight hasnt really achieved the same lap times as competition class cars from nearly 30 years ago.

And heres a tribute for the best ever Nordschleife Recorded Lap Record Stefan Bellof 6:11

So the next topic of debate has the track changed from past-present but I will save that for somebody else to address…..

Sources:- Wikipedia,Pistonspy

One thought on “Nurburgring – Nordschleife Lap Times Analysis”

  1. I came across this site, whilst doing a little research on the Nordschleife.
    Very few people ever mention that it is impossible to do a comparison with lap times from 30years ago. I should know, I was a factory Chevron driver in their 2 litre sports cars and finished 3rd overall in the World Sports car 1000km race with John Bridges behind the two works Ferraris.

    The circuit then continued past roughly where the present pits are situated, then eventually into a left hander, which was followed by a slow long right hander to bring you past the rear of the pits. The mechanics had time to give pit signals both sides if they wished ! The track then rejoined the present circuit at a left hander at the end of the rear pit straight.

    The so-called road car times are based on the track which is open to the public, which is considerably shorter than the 70’s track. How much shorter – don’t know, but could be up to a minute. The annual Ring 24hrs,which I raced in some six years ago,uses part of the F1 cirsuit, but again cannot be compared with the old circuit timewise.

    Our time in 1973 in the works Chevron B23, was around the 7mins 50sec mark – not bad for a 2 litre car with around 275hp ! I still race my 1974 Chevron B26 2 litre ( now 300hp ), which would probably be a good 20 secs faster than the B23.

    Just thought you might be interested.


    John Burton

    (Twice runner-up European Sports Car Championship)

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