6 minutes, 5 seconds.
Had this time been thrown at us 12 months earlier, I’m almost full certain that it would have been the end of the internet as we know it. Imagine if Bellof’s record lap was first beaten by a full-electric car?
I suppose that a lot will now find solace in the fact that Porsche got to it first with the hybrid 919 Evo, and the still stunning 5m19s lap which has moved the goalposts so far, they might as well be on another continent. While there’s some 46 seconds still separating the 919’s and the ID.R’s Nordschleife laps, I don’t think that they’re actually all that comparable in the grand scale of things.
On one hand, you have arguably the pinnacle of the internal-combustion engine racecar in the 919, the result of over 100 years of evolution, while also borrowing a little from its fully electrified cousin.
In the ID.R, you have a racecar that’s still in its infancy but has already claimed scalps around the world. The outright Pikes Peak record holder, the electric record for the Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb and now the electric record for the Nürburgring Nordschleife all achieved within a 12 month period.
It’s not without its drawbacks (charging times & a limited top speed) but as battery technology progresses, it would be reasonable to expect these issues to be minimised over time. Both cars were originally created for other purposes, so are both compromised to some degree which leaves room for further evolution in this regard.
As things currently stand, I don’t know if we will ever see a faster I.C.E. lap as manufacturers focus more and more on electrification and their environmental responsibilities, but it’s almost certain that full electric will go faster in due course.
So, while this isn’t the future just yet, it does offer a glimpse of what’s to come. Any real race driver will always want the fastest car available to them because fast is fast, and winning is winning. Subjective matters such as sound, sensation and how a car makes you feel will all be irrelevant when they’re stood on the top step of the podium.
6 minutes, 5 seconds for the ID.R might only be the second fastest Nordschleife time at the moment, but it could also be the most significant of our time.
We will just have to wait and see how significant.
Photo by Cian Donnellan