Nis­san lap of the gods

Porsche has ex­posed the Nur­bur­gring mir­a­cle, writes PAULGOVERin Italy

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

PORSCHE has un­masked the Sky­line GT- R’s bench­mark per­for­mance. Porsche is chal­leng­ing the Ja­panese su­per­car’s claim to the fastest road-car lap at Ger­many’s Nur­bur­gring track af­ter the Ger­man cars failed to get within 25 sec­onds of Nis­san’s re­ported best times.

It says the only way the GT-R could have lapped in the 7min 29sec the Ja­panese com­pany claims is by us­ing spe­cial tyres closer to racing slicks than reg­u­lar road rub­ber.

Porsche says Nis­san’s best time with a stan­dard GT-R is 7:54 com­pared with 7:38 for its own 911 Turbo and 7:34 for its rear­wheel-drive tur­bocharged GT2.

‘‘This won­der car with 7:29 could not have been a reg­u­lar se­ries pro­duc­tion car,’’ Porsche 911 prod­uct chief Au­gust Ach­leit­ner said at the Aus­tralian press preview of the 911 Cabrio.

‘‘It’s not clear how this time is pos­si­ble. What we imag­ine with this Nis­san is they used other tyres.’’

Porsche and Nis­san have quar­relled about the per­for­mance po­ten­tial of the GT-R, which for years was tweaked to achieve the road-car record at Nur­bur­gring.

Nis­san used re­tired grand prix racer Toshio Suzuki as its GT-R pi­lot and went to the Ger­man course at least twice af­ter fail­ing to hit its orig­i­nal 7:35 tar­get be­cause of a damp patch on the course. It even­tu­ally claimed 7:29 in April af­ter two days’ test­ing.

But Porsche has just done its own back-to-back runs at Nur­bur­gring us­ing a fac­tory chas­sis en­gi­neer in­stead of its usual hot­lap spe­cial­ist, for­mer world rally cham­pion Wal­ter Rohrl. It says it ran the GT-R, GT2 and Turbo within two hours, all on stan­dard road tyres— Miche­lin Pi­lot Sport for the two 911s — in the same weather and track con­di­tions.

The GT-R was bought in the US by Porsche.

‘We drove a GT-R with new tyres,’’ Ach­leit­ner says. He ad­mits the back-to-back com­par­i­son was run be­cause Porsche was scep­ti­cal of Nis­san’s claims for the GT-R, which is heav­ier than the 911 but has sim­i­lar power.

Ach­leit­ner says the Nis­san is a good, con­sis­tent car, but is about 20kg heav­ier than the Turbo.

Lap dancers: (above) the Nis­san Sky­line GT-R scorches round Nur­bur­gring and (be­low) the Porsche 911 GT-2.

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