Ford Doesn’t Care About Nurburgring Lap Times: “It’s Just Marketing”

2014 Shelby GT500 1 photo
Photo: Ford
There’s been a lot of talk about Nurburgring lap times lately, especially with the brand new McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 Spyder hybrids fighting for supremacy on the Nordschleife.
But nothing created more hype than the Nissan GT-R Nismo and its record-breaking 7:08.679 lap. The Japanese reportedly used a ‘Ring-prepped car that’s not available to customers, which resulted in heated debates all over the Internet, including our editorial piece about the “Nurburgring disease”.

While most automakers are eager to run their high performance vehicles at the ‘Ring and release official times and videos, there’s at least one global manufacturer that doesn’t care - Ford! Ever wondered why the current Shelby GT500 doesn’t have an official Nurburgring lap time? It’s because Ford believes it’s all about marketing and that there is no such thing as an official manufacturer Ring time, as Ford Global Performance Vehicle chief engineer Jamal Hameedi told

“The times being posted by many manufacturers are in my humble opinion akin to qualifying times being set at a race with no pre/post inspection (ie it would never happen). In the racing world - inspection/verification is a key part of the sport. In order for us to set an "official" time corner weights would have to be taken, calibration checksums need to be verified, engine power verified via chassis rolls, a hoist inspection, and probably a fuel sample taken by an independent 3rd party like a governing/sanctioning body. I would love to see this since everyone seems to be infatuated with Ring times,” Hameedi said.

“I know this isn't what the internet bench racers want to hear. As soon as there is a standard for measuring lap times - our performance vehicles will be the first in line to get tested. Until then - it's just marketing and a total free for all. They are very cool to watch though. The 2013/2014 GT500 sold just fine without a published Ring time (who could have imagined!). Actually we spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make more GT500s due to high demand. I've seen other performance cars with published Ring times being offered with incentives and cash on the hood (again - who could have imagined!). So I sleep pretty well at night. And spend my days (and nights) working on the next slayer vs. worrying about Ring times,” he added.

Although renting the Nurburgring exclusively for a video doesn’t make financial sense to him, Hameedi notes that the former Formula One track “is a fantastic venue for doing vehicle dynamics work”.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea profile photo

Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories