Sam Philip15 October 2010

Zonda R sets Nurburgring record

Pagani claims to have smashed Ferrari 599XX's ’Ring record for a ‘road-based car'...

Zonda R sets ’Ring record

Pagani's official report is short and brutally sweet. It reads:

'On the infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife, in the early dawn, the Pagani Zonda R recorded a lap-time of 6:47 thanks to bespoke P-Zero tires developed by Pirelli.'

That's it. That is how Pagani announces its claim to have set a new Nurburgring lap record for a ‘road-based car', beating the Ferrari 599XX's 6m58 set back in April. No fanfare, no balloons, not even a cupcake with a candle on top.

This may be, in part, because Pagani's claim is fraught with difficulty. But before we dive headlong into those difficulties, a few facts about the R, the £1.3m, strictly-limited-to-15-cars final flourish for the Zonda.

Powered by a 6.0-litre V12, it develops 739bhp and 524lb ft of torque... and weighs just 1,070kg. That means a 0-62mph time under three seconds and a top speed somewhere around 230mph. That's a pretty potent recipe for Nurburgring destruction.

But it isn't road legal. Neither, Pagani will point out, is the 599XX, which went round the ’Ring 11 seconds slower than the Zonda R a couple of months ago, to much crowing from Ferrari. But ‘production-derived' covers a multitude of sins, doesn't it?

We sense a fight a-brewin'. Remember Nissan versus Porsche back in 2008? That got decidedly messy.

Part of the problem, of course, is that there's no official body that rules on Nurburgring records: no regulations on whether the timed lap should be from a standing or flying start, no rules on what defines a ‘road-based car'...

In other words, you probably haven't heard the last of this one. A video from Pagani would help to settle any doubts, so keep your eyes peeled.

For now, let's leave it at this: wherever you stand on Nurburgring records, 6m47 is one monstrously quick lap...

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