Ford Performance Vehicle Chief Engineer: Nürburgring lap times currently a “total free for all” that’s “just marketing”

Most level-headed automotive enthusiasts were impressed when recent video footage showed a 2013/2014 Mustang Shelby GT500 lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in less than 7:40. And while Ford never officially revealed its time at the famed German racetrack, the fine folks at the SVT Performance forum reached out to Ford’s Global Performance Vehicle Chief Engineer, Jamal Hameedi, for some clarification. His response raised a few eye brows, including ours.

In an email, Mr. Hameedi explained that Nürburgring lap times are “akin to qualifying times being set at a race with no pre/post inspection” and that the current methodology of recording lap times there is a “total free for all” that’s “just marketing.”

That would explain the reason that Ford hasn’t released a lap time for the GT500, even though it clearly ran the range-topping Stang at the track. The performance chief followed that up with the following: “As soon as there is a standard for measuring lap times — our performance vehicles will be the first in line to get tested.”

The Motrolix Take

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that the current lack of testing and validation standards, as well as a limitation on the variables (such as drivers, tires, stopping/starting points) and other items, is making some automakers hesitant to release apples-to-apples Nürburgring lap times. Here’s to hoping that a set of common standards comes to light in the near future.

Motrolix Founder with a passion for global automotive business strategy.

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