The fastest tractor is also the slowest vehicle to lap the Nurburgring

Car enthusiasts have been fascinated by lap records since the early days of racing. The Nurburgring madness started in the 1970s with Formula One and Group C race cars and extends to road cars in the 1990s. 30 years later and it’s common to see automakers test production models at the ’Ring. And it’s not just sports cars. They are testing family sedans and SUVs as well and sometimes use them to set new records around the German track. If you think that a lap record contest for SUVs is a bit ridiculous, you’d better buckle up. Someone just drove an agricultural tractor around the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

German race car driver Christian Manzel hopped in a Claas Xerion truck and completed a full lap of the iconic German track.

In case you’re not familiar with Claas, it’s a German company that’s been building agricultural machinery since 1913. The tractor used in the video is called the Xerion 5000 VC and packs a 12.8-liter six-cylinder engine that generates 500 horsepower and 1,918 pound-feet of torque. That’s mighty impressive, but this tractor is both massive and heavy, tipping the scales at more than 38,000 pounds.

Despite its massive torque output, it’s far from fast. During his run, Manzel hit a top speed of 31 miles per hour, which isn’t bad for a tractor, but far from spectacular on a race track. As you might have already guessed, this tractor took a long time to lap the Nurburgring.

Watch a 500-horsepower Tractor Set A Lap Record at the Nurburgring
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It crossed the finish line in 24 minutes and 50.57 seconds and the footage is as boring as watching paint dry.

It’s a silly comparison, but the current lap holder for production cars, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, lapped the ’Ring in 6:44.97 minutes. That’s almost four times quicker than the Claas Xerion 5000 VC.

Still, this incredibly slow 24-minute run is a record in its own right as the Claas Xerion is the first tractor to lap the Nurburgring Nordschleife. Lamborghini still makes tractors, so let the Nurburgring tractor battle begin!

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert -
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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