21 August 2009

Radical razes ’Ring

British lightweight sets blistering time around the Nordschliefe, but is it road legal?

Radical SR8LM

It’s Nurburgring record season all right.

Following Gumpert’s announcement yesterday that its Apollo Speed had a set a new Nurburgring production car lap record at 7m11s, British manufacturer Radical has claimed its SR8LM has lapped the Nordschliefe in 6m48s.

The more astute amongst you will have noticed that 6m48s is quite a bit quicker than 7m11s. Game over, you might think – victory to Radical.

But the controversy arises because the SR8LM sits right at the very edge of the definition of ‘road legal’. It’s a lightweight, trackday special with very few compromises to real-world stuff like, say, weather.

However, Radical says it set the Nurburgring record just 24 hours after driving flat-out from England to Germany. Racing driver Michael Vergers – who set a lap time of 6m56s in the SR8LM’s predecessor back in 2005 – was once again behind the wheel for the most recent record attempt.

“The car was great, I could push really hard and it felt clearly faster than the previous SR8 in 2005,” Vergers said. “It’s fantastic that we’ve beaten the record; hopefully I’ll get an opportunity to return with Radical in the future.”

So who does the lap record belong too? Gumpert? Radical? Or maybe even Dodge? Well, that depends on your definition of ‘road legal’. Let the patented Top Gear speed bump decide, we say…

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