Renaultsport just set a new FWD Production lap record on the Nordschleife… but the 2019 rules might need explaining!

Firstly, let me say that I’m thrilled to see the first lap record laps of 2019 beginning to land. Secondly, that the new Renaultsport Trophy-R looks incredible in this video. But I do feel the need to ‘set the scene’ a little bit, maybe give you BTG readers a little background information before we all go crazy with anticipation.

Oh bugger it, here’s the video. Complicated technical stuff can wait 7m40s can’t it?

So maybe the only thing more surprising than the final lap time, is the fact that it was set on Bridgestones! And they are STICKY… If the datalogger is to be believed, the Trophy-R is pulling a solid 1.5 G around the corners. That’s like a set of off-the-shelf slicks fitted to a well setup VLN race car! I don’t know which exact model of Bridgestone that they are, but I want to try some! Be happy! The laptime battles being waged by manufacturers to sell special cars are producing some of the stickiest road-legal rubber ever to be sold.

Combined with the 2019 Nordschleife circuit improvements, laptimes are doomed to fall throughout this year,

Next, let me quote the official video captions:

Aha, yes, at last. After nearly 30 years of letting manufacturers do WTF they ever want to, the circuit owners are finally (for a modest fee) policing, controlling and interacting with the new lap record clams. The first thing they’ve done is dispense with the confusing-but-normal-for-30-years industry laptime. The standard laptime has always been the SportAuto lap distance, from the end of T13 straight back to the start. This was simply a matter of logistics. Back in those days the T13 straight housed the TF ticket barrier, and in industry pool to this day, it’s coned off and limited to 50kmh.

Now Nürburgring are controlling the laptime records, they’ve quite sensibly took the view that it should be set on the entire 20,832m Nordschleife. So that’s your 5 seconds. In case you were wondering.

So the tyres just got faster, the circuit too, but the track also got “longer”.

Confused? Don’t worry. The majority of YouTube commenters on my channel can’t even appreciate that a 1.6km BTG time is 20-25 seconds faster than a full laptime either. That’s exactly why Renaultsport still ignored the new “standard” and used 7m40s in the headline.