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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. LZH's Avatar
        LZH -
        While on the topic of M3's at the 'Ring. This is one of my most favorite 'Ring videos:


      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
        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.
        There we go, that makes sense.

        If everything goes as planned I would like to take my car to Europe next year for some fun. Maybe the Middle East as well.
      1. whoosh's Avatar
        whoosh -
        Great driving in the original video, and an outstanding save coming out of the mini carousel. I think the driver easily lost 3-5 seconds contending with the slower traffic at critical corners.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Maybe the Middle East as well.
        Y?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
        Y?
        Y not? Haven't been, guys have invited me out like @0-60Motorsports and I think they would show me a good time considering it would be my first visit. I also hear hospitality is at a premium for guests.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Definitely. But shipping a car all the way to there is something you wouldn't want to do unless you plan to do something like driving in Yas or something like that. I recently shipped three cars from there to Europe and it's something i won't do again.
      1. woptang22's Avatar
        woptang22 -
        Is there anyway to get some pics of this car?
      1. 0-60Motorsports's Avatar
        0-60Motorsports -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Y not? Haven't been, guys have invited me out like @0-60Motorsports and I think they would show me a good time considering it would be my first visit. I also hear hospitality is at a premium for guests.
        It'll be awesome if u can come visit us in Bahrain and get to an open track day at the F1 circuit Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 0-60Motorsports Click here to enlarge
        It'll be awesome if u can come visit us in Bahrain and get to an open track day at the F1 circuit Click here to enlarge
        We'll work something out this next year. It will be fun!
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        Just for the fun of it, a Ring lap I enjoy a lot.

        On 28 April 2007, Nick Heidfeld drove a BMW Sauber F1.06 Formula One car around the Nordschleife, on a BMW publicity day in combination with a VLN 4h endurance race.
        For safety reasons, BMW announced that the car was slowed with hard demonstration tires, maximum ride height, and 275 km/h top speed limited by the transmission. Heidfeld drove three laps on the combined Nordschleife and short GP-track, as used in VLN races, with a track length of 24.433 km.

        The official lap time released by BMW Sauber was declared to be 8:34 (thus ca. 30 seconds slower than the fastest Porsche 996 turbo in VLN). The German press duly reported this lap time, yet criticized BMW. In each lap, Heidfeld slowed down once to pose for a slow video truck, at Schwedenkreuz on the first lap 1, Kesselchen in lap 2, and Döttinger Höhe in the last lap. The two time spans in between the three passes of Heidfeld were clocked by some fans around the track, first Wehrseifen to Wehrseifen in about 7:28, then 7:22 from Klostertal to Klostertal, which is over 50 seconds quicker than the fastest current Porsche 997 GT3 RSR in VLN. This translates to an average of about 200 km/h (120 mph), similar to Bellof's record, but considering the slow GP section, Heidfeld probably was faster on the Nordschleife, close to 6 minutes. Fans who respect the official record of the late Stefan Bellof settle for an "estimated 6:12".

        Road & Track magazine reported Heidfeld's lap was a 5:57 or 5:58 (for the Nordschleife only), breaking the track's six-minute barrier for the first time in history. However, their times were done by measuring the speed in some corners, and then calculating a lap time, and not timing a full lap. Heidfeld has since expressed his desire to repeat the experience with less restriction.

        According to formula one F1 Racing magazine of June 2006, BMW engineers had estimated that a BMW-Sauber F1.06 could lap in under 5:15.8 which equals to an average of 237 km/h (147 mph).