December 8, 2016

Another win for Mercedes: under 7 minutes 11 seconds at the Nurburgring

Remember when Mercedes was the boring grandpa car and BMW were the ultimate driving machines?

Then something changed, Mercedes made a titanic PR investment in Formula One which spearheaded an ongoing repositioning of the marque's branding, away from staid grandpas, back to its mid 20th century glories of ultimate technology and performance.

The Mercedes juggernaut is just crushing it.

Latest case in point, the Mercedes Benz GT R. It's Benz's version of the Porsche GT3 or the Ferrari 458 Speciale. A souped up version of the already gorgeous GT and GT S, if you are an F1 fan, think Bernd Maylander's safety car, think more powerful version of the car competing in endurance races.

Gemany's SportAuto magazine drove a lap at the Nürburgring in 7:10.9 min.

With Michelin Sport Cup 2, same tire specced for the 458 speciale or. the Porsche 918.

There will be an internet food fight because SportAuto claims it is faster than the Porsche 918, which they drove to a 7:13 lap while Porsche has a video of a 918 driven by their pro driver Marc Lieb breaking the 7 minute mark with a 6:57.

The whole Nurburgring lap time thing by manufacturers is shady to begin with so, in many ways, magazine tests have a better chance to be honest since they tend to use "civilian drivers" and be more transparent about their tests.

But in the age of internet "truthers" this is not going to go down smoothly, a quick scan of the youtube comments and you will find a still from this clip someone is SURE are a set of slick tires which must have been used on the car...

To us they look like tires wrapped in tyre warmers, hardly a shocker since it looks like it was cold from the pictures.

Nurburgring's own Pizzagate fires up reddit* (*no I have no proof it's on fire but it could be)

For their part SportAuto confirms the tires were the ones the car can be bought with, a custom compound of the Sport Cup 2, much like the one you can get on the Corvette Z06 or the Ferrari 458 Speciale, a road legal "R-coumpound", similar to the Pirelli Trofeo-R available on may other top cars.

Naturally, being the internet, fanboys of all kinds will cry foul. but the pictures don't lie, driver makes it look easy to get a time that was once the Gumpert Apollo's fastest ever lap record.

Very impressive.

(as always, with all things N, I recommend you have Dale Lomas' bookmarked)

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