Nissan lap of the gods
Porsche has exposed the Nurburgring miracle, writes PAULGOVERin Italy
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.