McLaren P1 laps the NürburgringEnlarge Photo
Recently, the operator of Germany's famed Nürburgring dealt a blow to the collective egos of car company executives when it instituted 155-mph speed limits on certain parts of the track, effectively ending manufacturer attempts to set new lap records with production cars.
That restriction may prove temporary, though.
Capricorn Nürburgring GmbH--the company that owns and operates the track--is planning on lifting those speed limits for manufacturer testing, an unnamed industry source told Road & Track. Does that mean the competition among manufacturers for the PR-gold Nürburgring lap record is back on?
The report claims an official statement announcing the end of speed limits is already in the works, although exactly when the limits will be lifted remains unclear. It's also possible that rules specifically prohibiting or otherwise inhibiting manufacturer record attempts (as opposed to test sessions) could remain due to safety concerns.
Current speed limits were implemented in the wake of a crash at the 'Ring earlier this year that killed a spectator. During a VLN endurance race at the track in March, Nissan driver Jann Mardenborough got airborne in the Flugplatz section, resulting in that fatality. Flugplatz is now one of the speed-restricted zones, which were created under pressure from the DMSB--Germany's motorsport governing body.
Despite the danger, there will likely be a number of manufacturers lining up to set lap records if the ban is lifted, and Koenigsegg will probably be at the head of that line. The Swedish carmaker was ready for an attempt at the record for production cars with its 1,341-horsepower One:1 when the speed limits were announced. In previous test sessions, less-powerful Koenigseggs were found to be faster than the current record holder--the Porsche 918 Spyder--on certain sections of the track.
While McLaren has claimed its P1 lapped the 'Ring in under seven minutes, the company's unwillingness to disclose an actual time means the 918's 6:57 lap is still considered the fastest.