A few days ago a Porsche official made the extraordinary public claim that Nissan cheated when setting the GT-R’s amazing lap of 7 minute 29 seconds around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. And now Nissan is fighting back defending its honour.
At a recent preview of the 911 Cabrio August Achleitner, the 911 product chief for Porsche, spoke to Australian media outlet CARSguide saying, “This wonder car with 7:29 could not have been a regular series production car. For us, it’s not clear how this time is possible. What we can imagine with this Nissan is they used other tyres.” Achleitner’s suggestion of Nissan using semi-slick racing tyres has already been denied. Back in May Drivers-Republic spoke to the GT-R’s development chief Kazutoshi Mizuno about their stunning Nordschleife lap time and this is what Mizuno had to say, “This time was set on a totally standard car, just like a customer will get. For us ‘Time Attack’ must be repeatable in a customer car. No special brake pads or cut-slick tyres – everything was standard GTR.” Quite definitive really.
Amazingly Porsche went to the trouble of buying their own GT-R, from Nissan in the US, and shipping the car to the Ring to run their own tests. Achleitner revealed that a top Porsche test engineer, with extensive Nürburgring experience, could only muster a best lap in the GT-R of 7 minutes 54 seconds, some 25 seconds slower than Nissan’s widely published time. On the same day, the same driver recorded a best times of 7 minutes 38 seconds and 7 minutes 34 seconds, in a 911 Turbo and GT2 respectively.
Now Nissan has hit back defending their time claiming they did not cheat.
Quoted at the Paris Motor Show, Nissan’s European spokesman Neil Reeve said “Quite simply we’re not going to get into a war of words with Porsche. The final word from us is that it was done on absolutely standard tyres which are available to customers in the showroom.They’re not trick tyres – absolutely standard tyres, normal road tyres.
“The GT-R comes with Bridgestone and Goodyear (Dunlop). One tyre gives slightly better times around the ‘Ring. We did it on Dunlop. They’re available with the car,” he said.
While not as brazen as Achleitner’s attack, Reeve’s subtle digs will no doubt raise the ire of Porsche officials. “In our experience in Europe, the GT-R has widely matched, at least, if not beaten, the 911 Turbo on various track tests. They can draw their own conclusions.
“I’m cheeky enough to say it’s flattering that Porsche have bought themselves a GT-R and flown it to Germany, they want to try it. I guess that’s some kind of stamp of approval,” he said.