The Nordschleife at the Nürburgring is not only considered a legendary racing circuit; it is also one that is closely linked to both triumphs and tragedies. But the real hype about the circuit is setting very fast laps with street legal cars fitted with standard tires, and since the middle of the 1990s this has had a very special meaning. At that time a lap of the track in less than eight minutes was considered practically impossible but all this ended in 1999 with a record lap by rally legend Walter Röhrl. Since then the best time has been continually trimmed down to 7:30 minutes – but it has only been achieved by a handful of top-of-the-price range super sports cars.
Up to this point in time the fastest ever lap on the Nordschleife by a KTM X-BOW was 8.10 minutes in 2009 by a 240 hp “Club Sport” version of the Austrian-made super sports car – and the team from KTM wanted to improve on this in 2012. The vehicle for this attempt was the KTM X-BOW RR, the car that serves as the basis for drivers competing in the official KTM racing series, the KTM X-BOW BATTLE. The sport car is homologated for road use and was therefore fitted with street legal tires (Pilot Sport Cup) by Michelin for the attempt on a record lap on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Allowance was also made to have just the right driver for the record lap attempt. Christophe Haase, who in 2008 won the GT4 European Championship in the KTM X-BOW GT and is now in the service of Audi was the one chosen to drive the car. As the reigning winner of the 24-hour race on the Nordschleife, he was definitely the one to know just where to pick up the decisive seconds. In addition, the KTM X-BOW RR was powered by the tried and true 2.0 Liter four-cylinder TFSI engine from Audi.
On a chilly, windy autumn afternoon Christopher Haase had just two laps to conjure up the most perfect lap on the asphalt of the Nordschleife. And he did it in the truest sense of the word. He was timed at 7:25.72 minutes in the second flying lap, an absolutely top time that is significantly faster than that of the latest super sports cars. Even so, Christopher Haase still sees plenty of potential for improvement. “We had a lot of wind and very little grip – but we have to hold something back for next year, don’t we? I’m thrilled with the car. The Audi engine is also a stunner that offers any amount of torque. But the rest of the car is also great. The suspension works perfectly and you notice that the XBOW is lighter than most other cars when you go into every corner. This makes twice as much sense on the technically demanding Nordschleife! In any case the lap time is amazing. I think it shows how good the X-BOW really is because the Nordschleife doesn’t allow for any random good lap times. Here its always very tough, whenever you’re here!”
KTM’s Director of Sales Hubert Trunkenpolz was also one of the first to offer his congratulations. “My personal respect for registering this lap time. Anyone who has driven on the Nordschleife knows exactly what it means to clock a time under 7:30 minutes. I an proud of the team and naturally also of our KTM X-BOW RR. That shows once again the enormous potential of our car! I would like to thank Michelin for the tire material and naturally also Audi who not only gave us a perfect engine but also in a very friendly gesture, also the services of Christopher as the driver.”