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    • A BMW E92 M3 does a Nurburgring lap in 7:36? Kind of... or Why all Nurburgring laptimes are not created equal

      The Nurburgring has become a sort of standard to measure track performance. Manufacturers tout their laptimes as evidence of this performance but the problem is there is not a set standard to follow. This leads to a bit of confusion regarding times and the video below of an M3 achieving a laptime of 7:36 is the perfect example of this. Why? Well, the explanation is below but not all Nurburgring laptimes are created equal.

      When the track is open to tourist driving sessions as it was in this video, the full main straight can not be driven due to safety reasons regarding cars entering and exiting the track combined with those going at full speed. So, this area is omitted. Laptimes are then measured from the "bridge" to the "gantry" areas. This means the laptime is artificially quicker than it should be although technically it still counts as a Nurburgring Nordschleife lap.

      When we see laptimes listed often like those tested by German magazine Sport Auto (which are counted as industry testing) they omit a section by Grandstand 13 due to safety reasons regarding those entering/exiting the track. For this reason a Sport Auto laptime is only 12.8 miles long whereas the track is 12.944 miles long.

      This is further complicated with the ring laptimes wars that have started as a result of Nissan pressing for times to showcase their vehicles performance. A flying laptime where one starts their full Nurburgring lap at full speed can only be done in closed sessions where others can not enter the track but this will artificially inflate a time as well. Now everyone is doing this to get the best time possible due to the importance being put on Nurburgring laptimes today as a measure of performance and means of comparison.

      The vast majority of laps will be stopped slightly short for safety. With no standard set and evidence pretty much being a video posted of the lap taking place along with a press release there will be a bit of deviation. So, take a look at the video below and before you are ready to proclaim an M3 with suspension and tire upgrades faster than a Lexus LF-A, Mercedes McLaren SLR, or Corvette ZR-1 realize that based on the day the lap is run, weather, and if it is open to the public will change the times considerably. Still, a very impressive laptime going to show what the M3 with mild changes for the track is capable of.




      This article was originally published in forum thread: 7:36 lap time in Nurburgring started by Sorena View original post
      Comments 50 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        I'm still confused.

        So the GTS M3 time should be quicker than what Sport Auto hit?

        Why isn't there 1 standard? Why doesn't Sport Auto do it the way others do?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        @Autobahn335i is this a full lap?

      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        So, what about the times that aren't done by sport auto? Like Viper ACR time that is done by Dodge team or the ZR-1 time?

        One thing is for sure, when i was in the Ring, the stuff didn't look this much complicated. Germans always make things complicated.

        EDIT: I spotted double posting. Two post #23 is here.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
        EDIT: I spotted double posting. Two post #23 is here.
        Nope, no double post. The auto thread updater will sometimes show dupes that aren't really there. No way to have two of the same number.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        The Nurburgring has become a sort of standard to measure track performance. Manufacturers tout their laptimes as evidence of this performance but the problem is there is not a set standard to follow. This leads to a bit of confusion regarding times and the video below of an M3 achieving a laptime of 7:36 is the perfect example of this. Why? Well, the explanation is below but not all Nurburgring laptimes are created equal.

        When the track is open to tourist driving sessions as it was in this video, the full main straight can not be driven due to safety reasons regarding cars entering and exiting the track combined with those going at full speed. So, this area is omitted. Laptimes are then measured from the "bridge" to the "gantry" areas. This means the laptime is artificially quicker than it should be although technically it still counts as a Nurburgring Nordschleife lap.

        When we see laptimes listed often like those tested by German magazine Sport Auto (which are counted as industry testing) they omit a section by Grandstand 13 due to safety reasons regarding those entering/exiting the track. For this reason a Sport Auto laptime is only 12.8 miles long whereas the track is 12.944 miles long.

        This is further complicated with the ring laptimes wars that have started as a result of Nissan pressing for times to showcase their vehicles performance. A flying laptime where one starts their full Nurburgring lap at full speed can only be done in closed sessions where others can not enter the track but this will artificially inflate a time as well. Now everyone is doing this to get the best time possible due to the importance being put on Nurburgring laptimes today as a measure of performance and means of comparison.

        The vast majority of laps will be stopped slightly short for safety. With no standard set and evidence pretty much being a video posted of the lap taking place along with a press release there will be a bit of deviation. So, take a look at the video below and before you are ready to proclaim an M3 with suspension and tire upgrades faster than a Lexus LF-A, Mercedes McLaren SLR, or Corvette ZR-1 realize that based on the day the lap is run, weather, and if it is open to the public will change the times considerably. Still, a very impressive laptime going to show what the M3 with mild changes for the track is capable of.

        Click here to enlarge

      1. Q4P's Avatar
        Q4P -
        A fundamental problem that is never addressed is different drivers. There should be a dedicated stig to the ring when measuring pro laps to remove skill differences from the formula.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Q4P Click here to enlarge
        There should be a dedicated stig to the ring when measuring pro laps to remove skill differences from the formula.
        Impossible. The driver is always a variable and always will be.
      1. Autobahn335i's Avatar
        Autobahn335i -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Yep. You can see at 7:10 in the vid he passes the Döttinger Höhe, where they put gates during tourist drives to allow drivers to enter the track. The straight is only open during private track days and test drives of the industry pool.
      1. Autobahn335i's Avatar
        Autobahn335i -
        Sticky, you need to drive on the Ring at least once in your life. You'll be a different man afterwards.
      1. Mike@VAC's Avatar
        Mike@VAC -
        Have you guys seen this: Click here to enlarge

      1. flipm3's Avatar
        flipm3 -
        His car is also tuned by the magicians at @evolve Click here to enlarge
      1. leo985i's Avatar
        leo985i -
        That lap by the M3 GTS was amazing!
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@VAC Click here to enlarge
        7:28.... that is absolutely incredible.

        Seems like a hell of a suspension setup.
      1. Q4P's Avatar
        Q4P -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Impossible. The driver is always a variable and always will be.
        Then you will never have accurately comparable results... that is fact. Then add this article into it and it just further shows the bull$#@! ring times are. I hate saying that too because it's a great place but it js what it is...
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Q4P Click here to enlarge
        Then you will never have accurately comparable results... that is fact
        That is why times are not set in stone, they are subject to a large number of variables.
      1. Autobahn335i's Avatar
        Autobahn335i -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Q4P Click here to enlarge
        Then you will never have accurately comparable results... that is fact. Then add this article into it and it just further shows the bull$#@! ring times are. I hate saying that too because it's a great place but it js what it is...
        A pro driver should be able to lap consistently within a margin of 1 or 2 seconds.
      1. M3GTtt's Avatar
        M3GTtt -
        BTG is not Lap of Nurburgring, probably already been said..

        BTG is the Touristfahrt amature laptime benchmark since the full straight is rarely open for the public.
      1. Imran@Evolve's Avatar
        Imran@Evolve -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by flipm3 Click here to enlarge
        His car is also tuned by the magicians at @evolve Click here to enlarge
        Sure is! Click here to enlarge

        Luke can drive a bit too Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M3GTtt Click here to enlarge
        BTG is not Lap of Nurburgring, probably already been said..

        BTG is the Touristfahrt amature laptime benchmark since the full straight is rarely open for the public.
        So if someone wants to set a lap record how do they go about it?
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        So if someone wants to set a lap record how do they go about it?
        What sort of lap record? A full lap? Here is what i did. I signed up in BMW ring club, they rented the track for a day for the members and we had a go in the whole circuit.