It’s not the record for a production car, but it is just as impressive

A previous-generation Ford GT race car driven by Belgian racer Nico Verdonck has set a new VLN record lap time at the Nürburgring when it blasted through a 15.2-mile version of the course in 7:58.558.

Before any confusion starts, this new lap record is different from other lap records that have been set around the world’s most famous race track. The Ford GT’s lap was accomplished during a Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring (VLN) race over the weekend, beating out the previous record set by Jens Klingmann in 2014 when he clocked in a time of 7:59.045 while racing with a BMW Z4 GT3.

There are also a number of other classifications for record lap times depending on different conditions. The VLN qualifying lap record, for instance, is also a different animal from the VLN race record. That record was also broken over the weekend by Walkenhorst Motorsport and driver Christian Krognes, who piloted a BMW M6 GT3 to a blistering lap time of 7:53.375, beating out the record held by the Audi R8 LMS, which posted a lap time of 7:57.474 in 2014.

In any event, Verdonck’s breathtaking lap time with the V-8-powered Ford GT racer is just as impressive as all the other records considering that he set it seemingly from out of nowhere. At the very least, it’s a new 15.2-mile lap record that’s going to be difficult to beat in racing conditions.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Production car lap records were not broken

Ford GT Racer Blitzes To A VLN Record Lap Time At The Nürburgring
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For those who are wondering, this is a different record from the one automakers routinely try to break when they do flying laps around the 12.9-mile Nordschleife. The record for OEM-spec production cars remains in the hands of the Porsche 918 Spyder, which set a lap time of 6:57 back in 2013. The Radical SR8 LM, on the other hand, still holds the record for the fastest lap time around the Nordschleife for a road legal production car with a time of 6:48, which it set all the way back in 2009.

So while Verdonck’s record lap with the Ford GT doesn’t affect those production car records, given the longer layout of the track he raced in, the times are proportionately in the same neighborhood. The fact that Verdonck set the lap in the middle of an actual race only adds to the credence and significance of what he and his Ford GT racer accomplished.

Now we wait to see how long before this new record is broken.

Press Release

A landmark new lap record was set at the daunting Nurburgring last weekend.

In the VLN race on Saturday 24th September, Nico Verdonck (Alzen-Ford GT) stormed to a new lap record, equipped with Dunlop’s standard specification GT3 tires.

The Belgian ace took a mere 7m: 58.558s to circumnavigate the 24.358 km long combination of short version of the Grand Prix circuit and the infamous Nordschleife. He undercut the previous record of 7m: 59.045s, set in 2014.

It was a record breaking weekend for Dunlop teams. In qualifying, Walkenhorst Motorsport set a stunning new unofficial lap record on Dunlop tires. The Norwegian Christian Krognes (BMW M6 GT3) set a time of 7m:53,375s – but it is race times only that count as ‘Official Records’

This lap record continues a proud Dunlop tradition at the Nurburgring. The outright lap record for the Nordschleife (without GP loop) is the legendary 1983 lap by the late Stefan Bellof (Porsche 956 on Dunlop race tires) and the fastest ever lap by a road-legal car is by Michael Vergers in 2009 (Radical SR8LM on Dunlop road tires). It is also a circuit where Dunlop develop road tires for high performance cars.

Xavier Fraipont , Managing Director, Dunlop Motorsport stated: “The Nurburgring is one of the toughest tests of a car, driver and tires. We have placed a lot of emphasis on creating a durable and fast GT3 tire this year. This lap record and also VLN victories this year show that we are in a strong position as we prepare for 2017”

Bonk Motorsport within touching point of VLN title

It was a successful weekend for Dunlop partner, Bonk Motorsport, in the same race. As VLN heads to its climax, the Bonk duo of Alexander Mies and Michael Schrey are heading towards glory in their BMW M235i Cup, finishing third to secure the lead in the championship with two races to go.

Class Wins for Dunlop Teams

Franck Mailleux and Felipe Fernández Laser took the chequered flag after 28 laps with the Dunlop-shod Glickenhaus SCG003C. Audi A4 pilots Thomas Hanisch and Markku Honkanen also took a class win to round off the successful weekend for the tire brand.

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