Der Nordschleifenrekord
Kaufmann Explains...

The RMA Track Days at the Nordschleife get under way today - as we indicated last week, when posting the news that Joao Barbosa would be going for the road car record in a Mosler Photon.

That was the cue for Wolfgang Kaufmann to respond….

“I just want to give you some important details / information… so that you and the readers of dailysportscar have a clear explanation of all these times,” says the German GT man.

“The lap record which I set was in September 2001. It was a long, long, long time ago! Since that time the tarmac of the Nordschleife has been improved, because in a few corners it was very slippery and in a few sections very bumpy…

“For example, (there is) new tarmac at Hatzenbach, Hocheichen, Kallenhard, Exmühle, Kesselchen - and lots of other parts of the Nordschleife.

“Since 2001 lots of drivers and tuners have tried to beat my lap time (7:32.52) - but no one could set a similar or faster time.”

Wolfgang clarifies exactly what he means below.

He set his 7:32 with a regular Porsche 996 Turbo, prepared by Porsche specialist Gemballa, fitted with regular street tyres (Yokohama AVS Sports).

“The Gemballa Porsche was a ‘normal’ road car which every customer could buy, nothing especially prepared for the Nordschleife. So I didn’t drive a Carrera GT, just a 911 with rear engine, not a lot of down force and far from a perfect weight balance."

An attempt with a Carrera GT would produce a lap time at least 15 seconds faster than the 7:32, suggests the German. He also makes the point that there is a gentleman’s agreement that these record attempts are for cars fitted with regular street tyres - “no sport tyres, R-tyres, semi slicks or whatever these tyres are called.”

“Everyone who tries to beat the 7.32.52 min should do it with the same tyre performance - normal, regular street tyres…!”

Apparently the Donkervoort – around 650 kg and 350 bhp – set its time (7:18) using Dunlop R tyres.

“They are amazingly good tyres, maybe only five seconds a lap slower than a slick tyre around the Nordschleife,” says the 7:32 man. “I know this because I have tested these tyres. And the Donkervoort is more or less a racing car! This car has raced all this year in the Divinol Cup.”

Kaufmann concludes that “the Nordschleifenrekord lap times should show the performance of the car and NOT of the tyre… everything else is not really fair… With a fantastic tyre like the Dunlop R, which exists just in small sizes for cars like the Radical, Donkervoort, Opel Speedster and Lotus Elise, you can be quick even if the car is ****.”

Here is the man himself, just before he took some dsc'ers round the Nordschleife in July.


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