The Sport Auto laptime is not something to take lightly. While manufacturers often spend weeks, months, or even years*, trying to set the perfect Nürburgring Nordschleife laptime, Sport Auto magazine normally spends a day. Maybe two. Rarely more than that.
That means the Sport Auto laptimes** might not be as optimised (fast) as the official factory times, but they’re definitely more representative of what the standard car can do. And what you or I could achieve in them.
Watching Mr. Gebhardt giving it large in the little Toyota made me think about the Yaris GR even more.
It’s not a laptime car
Unlike many special-edition hatchbacks, the Yaris is clearly not a laptime hunter. With that power and weight, you’d expect a sub-8 full laptime. Renaultsport have been kicking-out sub-8 cars for the best part of a decade in that bracket. But the Yaris is too tall for those shenanigans, and, crucially, it doesn’t have enough grip.
It’s a fun car
Christian was over the limit, tyres squealing, thrashing every last pony out of the diminuitive 3-pot. But I could imagine the smile he had on his face doing it. The Yaris was moving around! Sliding in and out of the corners.
A WRC-homologation model used to be de rigueur for every manufacturer. Short gearboxes, big turbos, wide-bodies and real-world performance by the clichéd bucket-full. Now they’re rarities, and the Yaris stands out because of it. If you wanted to make a Nürburgring laptime Yaris, it’d probably end up being lower, FWD, and (dare I say it) maybe a bit boring on the road.
So, once again, Gazoo Racing & Toyota, BTG salutes you.
The world is better with more interesting sportscars.