Porsche 918 SpyderEnlarge Photo
UPDATE: The Nürburgring operator Capricorn has confirmed that it is implementing speed limits of 155 mph in certain areas of the track, one of the fallouts of a fatal crash at the ‘Ring involving a spectator earlier this year. Forcing the operator’s hand is the DMSB, Germany’s motorsport governing body. The limits effectively end the opportunity to set a record lap.
Though there’s no official sanctioning body for Nürburgring-Nordschleife lap times, setting a lap and posting a video of the attempt online has become one of the most popular means for automakers to promote the performance of their cars. Of course, there are also critics of the practice. They typically either cite the number of variables that can affect the times or the fact that there’s no independent body to see that the cars being used for attempts are actually stock. Then there’s also the safety issue, which has become more concerning now that lap times for production cars have dropped below the magic seven minute mark.
Now, it appears that the Nürburgring lap time critics have won the upper hand. The people behind a new supercar documentary called Apex were first to report that the management group overseeing the Nürburgring, German engineering group Capricorn, which bought the rights to the track last year, has moved to ban automakers from attempting and publishing lap times due to safety concerns.
The news originally came via Koenigsegg. The Swedish supercar manufacturer was unable to set an official lap time for its One:1, a car tipped to be capable of breaking the current record. In fact, previous testing showed that less potent Koenigsegg machines were quicker during certain sections of the track than the Porsche 918 Spyder, which holds the production car lap record of 6:57. Of course, Koenigsegg itself became a victim of the track when one of its test cars suffered a crash, but it still would have been impressive seeing the 1,341-horsepower One:1 make an attempt.
The good news is that the Nürburgring operator will review its restrictions at the end of the year, so there may still be a reprieve. We’ll update the story as soon as we know more.