Nurburgring lap records are going to be a thing of the past, thanks to changes recently announced by the historic track’s new owners. It has become common practice for automakers to brag about how quickly their performance models can get around the big track, which is loaded with a variety of challenges. A Nurburgring lap time means more than horsepower and torque ratings, or even 0 to 60 acceleration times.
The event that spurred this sad change was a fatal crash. Back in March of this year, a Nissan GT-R flipped and landed off the track, ending up in a spectator area. The driver was okay, but one spectator died and several others were injured.
Speed limits for certain sections of the track are being enforced on everyone, even during motorsports competitions. On some straightaways on Nurburgring, cars can pick up significant speed. Deceptively sharp turns, slight shifts in the track’s direction and virtually invisible bumps have caused many professionals and amateurs alike to crash.
The production crew for APEX, a documentary about the Koenigsegg One:1 and its attempt to break the Nurburgring lap record, broke the news. Needless to say, the development is throwing a monkey wrench into the whole process.
APEX is crying foul at the same time, accusing the Nurburgring owners of favoritism. The Lamborghini Aventador SV was able to perform a record run around the track recently, but that the Nurburgring’s management said it took place one day before the ban went into effect.
Is it a conspiracy? While it seems extreme to institute sweeping new safety restrictions on the track just to keep Lamborghini at the top of the heap, the Italian brand does have some deep pockets and the Nurburgring has a recent history of financial problems. Still, there’s nothing to back up those claims, meaning they’re likely wild speculations unless more evidence can be produced.
There is some hope. Jalopnik says some unspecified sources claim that the ban will be reviewed in 2016 and might even be lifted. What that would look like is anyone’s guess at this point.