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Running Round the 'Ring

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On: Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 2:16PM | By: John Welch

Running Round the 'Ring

Ahhh, the Nurburgring. Possibly the world's greatest race course (that's debatable, of course; Indy and La Sarthe may take offense). Considered by most of the world's automakers as the ultimate test for their machinery. Manufacturers are so high on the 'Ring koolaid that they've been waging a 'fast lap' war around the circuit for the better part of three years. The waters surrounding these records are starting to get a little muddy. In the last four days three different manufacturers (Devon, Gumpert, and Radical) have made claim to the 'production car' lap record. Huh? The PRODUCTION lap record is held by the Corvette ZR1, at a time of 7:26.4. It could be argued that none of these other cars are 'production' cars. They are all hand-built, small volume rocket sleds that surely required serious bribes in order to get street legal. Take a look at the Radical; it's a LMP2 car with slim bodywork for barkinoutloud.

Besides the epic ego-war being waged between Porsche and Nissan, the fight between these small firms has become increasingly interesting. Following is a breakdown of the supposed records and as much media as I can find to go with them.

Devon GTX
: a Dodge Viper with frilly body cladding. Whoopee. It is 100% American, which I like, but they're shooting for a time of 6:55. MMmmm, that's a little hard to swallow.

Gumpert Apollo
: Here a we a have a serious beast. In the back of the wildly styled chassis lays an Audi V8. Oh, and a couple of hairdryers. You can order the performance flavor that best suits you: 600, 650, and 700 horsepower. Delicious. The Apollo even beats the Corvette by eleven seconds! To bad it looks like Falcor.

Radical SR8LM
: And here we have the new Champ. Though I refuse to call it a production car, it is remarkably reliable. The car was driven from England to South West Germany, and ran its lap on the same tires used for the transcontinental trip. I'll let you read the story for the lap time, but I assure you, it's eye-watering.


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