Traditionally, automakers love using lap records to brag about the performance prowess of its new models. Ford, however, isn’t one of them. Recently, the Ford GT supercar shattered the lap record at Virginia International Raceway with racing driver Billy Johnson behind the wheel posting an impressive time of two minutes and 38.62 seconds, beating the time set by Car and Driver and with it a new production car record. To put that into context, it was faster around the circuit than the Porsche 918 Spyder and the Mercedes-AMG GT R.
If that wasn’t already an impressive feat, the record was achieved with “just a small support crew, less than ideal circuit conditions, and [racing driver Billy Johnson] driving the Ford GT on that track for the first time.” It makes you wonder whether the all-American supercar can pose a threat to its European rivals and other American sports cars like the Corvette Z06 on the hallowed Nurburgring circuit. Unfortunately, we’ll never find out because according to The Drive, Ford is adamant that it isn’t using the GT to chase lap records, despite setting an impressive time at Virginia. “We have no plans to go for any lap records at VIR or other circuits going forward,” a Ford rep wrote in an email.
As Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer of Ford Performance put it ‘We’ve got new cars to work on.'” Hyundai’s N performance division has a similar attitude, as company boss Albert Biermann recently declared that Nurburgring record attempts are a “waste of time.” Conversely, lap records seem to be a priority for Chevrolet, as the Camaro’s chief engineer Al Oppenheiser believes the current Camaro is capable of setting a sub seven-minute lap time. “We think there’s more in it. We’re gonna keep tinkering around with it,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be cool to see a Camaro under 7:00 at the Nurburgring? I’d like to see it.”
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