Volkswagen aims for electric record at Nürburgring-Nordschleife, racing car will also be ambassador of future Volkswagen range of electric series models
Volkswagen is accelerating towards electric mobility, both in production vehicles and on the track. After the record at the famous Pikes Peak Hill Climb, the electric competition ID. R is aiming for another milestone in the summer of 2019: the Nürburgring-Nordschleife electric car lap record, considered one of the toughest circuits in the world. “After the exceptional result at Pikes Peak, the electric record at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife is the next big challenge for the ID. R, ”says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. “A lap record at the Nordschleife is a great recognition for any car, be it racing or production”.
car was evolved for the Nordschleife
After the victory already obtained by the ID. R at Pikes Peak the car has undergone further development in preparation for the record attempt at the Nürburgring, the ID. R is powered by two electric motors with a total power of 500 kW (680 hp) and weighs less than 1,100 kg including the driver. many changes have been made to the aerodynamics as the conditions of the green hell are very different and offer higher speeds and an often bumpy asphalt. Unlike the US time trial which starts at an altitude of 2,862 meters and reaches 4,302 meters, the Nordschleife is located in the Eifel region at an altitude between 320 and 617 meters above sea level. The iconic German circuit has truly unique features, such as the long Döttinger Höhe straight.
At the wheel will be Dumas
The versatile Romain Dumas will once again be behind the wheel for the record attempt. In June 2018 he won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with the ID. R Pikes Peak and with a time of 7: 57.148 minutes he became the first rider in the over 100-year history of the race to go under eight minutes. The Frenchman also boasts four victories at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. “The thought of driving the ID. R at the Nordschleife is already enough to give me goosebumps. I know the track very well but the ID. R will be a completely different challenge, with its extreme acceleration and very high cornering speeds, ”says Dumas. “I can’t wait for the first tests to arrive. Breaking the existing electric record will not be a walk in the park ”. The current record for fully electric vehicles is 6: 45.90 minutes, at an average speed of nearly 185 km / h, and was set in 2017 by British driver Peter Dumbreck in a NIO EP9.
The old Ring is a difficult track
A rather narrow circuit, 20,832 kilometers long, 75 curves and continuous ups and downs through the Eifel forests; the Nordschleife, which opened in 1927, is one of a kind and continues to be an extraordinary development environment for the automotive industry. Former Formula 1 World Champion Jackie Stewart once respectfully referred to him as “Green Hell”. Although it has undergone numerous changes over time, it has not been home to Formula 1 since 1978. Today, the Nordschleife, along with the modern Grand Prix Circuit, is best known for the 24 Hours.
the next challenge will be “the road to Heaven”
Most likely, after the summer, Romain will return to driving the ID. R for another record by participating in the China Challenge on the Big Gate Road: a one-of-a-kind ribbon of asphalt, with 99 curves, which climbs the Tianmen Mountain, located about 1,500 kilometers southwest of Beijing (China). As there is no official mileage record for the 11 kilometers of this mountain road closed to public traffic, Volkswagen China will organize a virtual competition in which participants will be able to register their record on the Big Gate Road. Then, in September Dumas will try to actually improve the record set virtually. The narrow Big Gate Road of Tianmen Mountain is a popular tourist attraction. It climbs through one of the most primeval mountain landscapes in the world. Also known as Tongtian Avenue (Road to Heaven), the road is used by buses that transport visitors to the top of Tianmen Mountain. It starts downstream at about 200 meters above sea level and ends at a height of about 1,300 meters. The peak of the mountain is located at 1,519 meters above sea level.
The China Challenge on Tianmen Mountain will be a journey into the unknown even for Pikes Peak winner Dumas: “So far, the only knowledge I have of the road is through a few photos and a few videos,” says the 41-year-old French driver. “The surrounding landscape is breathtaking, it looks like a movie set. The route is full of curves, very narrow in some parts and very irregular. It will certainly be a special experience. I can’t wait to throw myself into this new challenge ”.
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The ID. R will soon attempt the record at the Nurburgring among the electric