The chief engineer of Ford's Global Performance Vehicles has agreed with James May and ruined a million pub conversations: Nürburgring lap times are rubbish.
Vijay Pattni28 November 2013
Ford: Nürburgring times are rubbish
Performance chief details why Nürburgring times aren’t useful. James May was right
Jamal Hameedi, responding to Ford enthusiast forum SVTperformance.com asking why he hasn't sent the Mustang GT500 around the ‘Ring on a timed run, reckons that there is no such thing as an official manufacturer time.
"Ring times? Oh man, don't even get me started on this topic," says Hameedi. "These times being posted by many manufacturers are, in my humble opinion, akin to qualifying times being set at a race with no pre/post inspection. In order for us to set an official time, corner weights would have to be taken, calibrations check sums need to be verified, engine power verified, a hoist inspection, and probably a fuel sample taken by an independent third party..."
In other words, it's a free-for-all. However, Hameedi concedes the Green Hell serves an important function for testing vehicles. "The reason we test at the Ring is because it is a fantastic venue for doing vehicle dynamics work," he says. "You get so much different content in terms of turns, elevation, etc that you would need to visit five different tracks to duplicate it."
It's just the lap times with which Ford has a problem. "Our (my) view is that there is no such thing as an official manufacturer 'Ring time. As soon as there is a standard for measuring lap times, our performance vehicles will be the first in line to get tested."
Hameedi reckons the comparisons between different performance cars "need to be done on the same day by a professional driver, too." Hmm, if only there were such a facility, where a single racing driver whose breath smells of magnesium could test the world's fastest cars around a top secret and slightly shoddy little circuit just off the A281 in Surrey...
Hameedi says until there's a more effective, standardised measurement, Ford won't be sending its cars around the ‘Ring on timed runs. Remember what our very own Captain Slow said many moons ago? "Being able to claim that your daily driver holds a production car lap record somewhere in Germany is a good boast down the pub for the feeble minded...but it's all nonsense."
Can: open. Worms: everywhere...
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