Radical SR8LMEnlarge Photo
The value of Nürburgring lap times is often called into question, especially when there's no official sanctioning body that tracks them in relation to production cars. And that's even before we get into the discussion of what a production car is. But none of that takes away from the Radical SR8 LM's truly impressive 6:48 lap time achieved this week.
As an independent feat of raw mechanical speed and driving talent, the 6:48 lap can't be denied. It's within 40 seconds of the fastest lap ever recorded around the ring, driven by Stefan Bellof in the truly insane and monstrously powerful Porsche 956 back in 1984. The 6:48 lap time cuts down Radical's own record, previously set at 6:56.
But as an example of a production car's capabilities, the lap time is essentially meaningless. While the Radical SR8 LM technically qualifies for the title, it's a hand-built, tube-frame race car with no roof or any of the amenities most of us expect from even the most hardcore of road-going sports cars - things like cargo space, or passenger seats.
So Radical claiming the production car lap record at 6:48 isn't quite the same as the Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR's claim at 7:22.4, or even the infamous battle between the Porsche 911 GT3, Nissan GT-R and Corvette ZR1. Those cars are all still completely capable of being driven on the street for normal activities, rain or shine.
The question then becomes: where to draw the line? Does the Gumpert Apollo, which shares more in common with the Radical than any of the true production cars listed above, count? Should it?
Let us know what you'd do if you were the decision maker in the comments section below.