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The VW ID.R is taking on a championship-winning F1 car

VW is prepping the EV racer to beat the Sonoma Raceway lap record

The Volkswagen ID.R is mighty quick. This is something that is under no doubt. Up until now, though, it’s been rather difficult to ascertain just how quick it is compared to the pinnacle of internal combustion-engined racers. 

Yes, it broke the Goodwood hill climb record, but that was beating Nick Heidfeld’s 20-year-old time in the 1998 McLaren MP4/13 F1 car. It also smashed the Nürburgring lap record for electric cars last year, but its time of 6m 05.3s was still well behind the Le Mans-winning Porsche 919’s 5m 19.6s run – the ‘Ring not being the ideal place for an EV’s short bursts of breakneck speed, of course. Then there was the Pikes Peak record, where electric power was a clear benefit in defeating the altitude.

Now though, Volkswagen has announced that it will be attempting to break the Sonoma Raceway lap record in California. The attempt will take place at the Sonoma Speed Festival (essentially a US remake of Goodwood Revival), but the really interesting news comes in the form of the car it will have to beat.

In 2019, at the first ever Sonoma Speed Festival, Esteban Gutierrez completed the 2.52-mile, 12 turn circuit in 1m 15.4s – setting a new lap record. At the time, the Mexican was at the wheel of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes-Benz F1 W07 Hybrid from 2016. Yep, that’s the same car that Nico Rosberg won his only F1 World Championship in. Crikey.

A big test for the 670bhp twin-motored ID.R then. Reckon it can go faster than an F1 car on a level playing field, Internet? VW is currently working on optimising the aerodynamics and battery load, and we’ll find out if it’s successful in May this year…

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