So, Ferrari say their 599XX was the first “production-derived” sportscar to break the 7 minute barrier around the 20.832km Nürburgring Nordschleife. But, what does that term “production-derived” actually mean?
Who cares if the car is based off the 599 GTB Fiorano, the 599XX cannot be driven on public roads and it comes delivered with racing slicks. It’s a racing car, who is Ferrari kidding? Hang on a sec, don’t Ferrari say the 599XX cannot be entered in any sanctioned race events. So, what is it then?
Well, semantics aside, it’s pretty clear the 599XX holds a closer relationship to a racing car than it does a road car, despite it’s road-car origins. So, then, for no other reason than to watch three superb pieces of in-car Nürburgring footage lets compare the 599XX to two other racing cars. The first, new and production-derived, the BMW Z4 GT3, and the other, an all time motor racing legend from the early 1980s, the Porsche 956.
Sure the 956 never had any pretensions to road use—Vern Schuppan’s 962CR side-project aside—but we’re talking the peak of sportscar racing more than 25 years ago. Surely the Ferrari can hold off the great Derek Bell with its latest electronic and mechanical masterpiece.
After the jump are three clips to help us find out. Now, I must stress this is not a very scientific comparison, all three clips start from a different part of the track. In fact, the Derek Bell lap was filmed in 1983, the year before the current Nürburgring GP track was built. He starts his lap from the old pit area, which is now the T13 complex.
The lap with the BMW does include the GP track and, oddly, the footage starts at the Pflantzgarten jump and finishes just before. That means we need to take out around 2 minutes for the GP track, then add a few seconds for the T13 section and again at the end to reach the original starting point. As I said, it’s not terribly scientific or deadly accurate.
Just take this comparo for what it is, an appreciation of three cracking cars getting thrashed around one of the world’s most demanding pieces of tarmac.