If you were trying to pair the greatest circuit in the world with the greatest driver in the world then the Nürburgring driven by Sebastien Loeb would be a pretty good combination.
Ahead of the German round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, the teams have been testing (never has the phrase been more apt) on a 25km combination of the Nordschleife and modern GP circuit – the same layout that is used for the N24, which is also taking place this weekend.
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Citroen has released a video of a full lap of the circuit with the nine-time WRC champion who is currently lying second in the 2015 WTCC standings. It’s fascinating watching Loeb’s mannerisms in the car, from his incredibly smooth steering inputs to his twitching left (braking) foot that gets a rest entirely on the Dottinger Hohe straight.
While the outright top speed of the WTCC car isn’t that great, the speed carried into some of the corners is pretty eye-widening, particularly the corner after Flugpkatz, then Schwedenkreuz, then the corners after Tiregarten (which is taken tight). You can also clearly hear the flaring of the front wheels as they frequently struggle for traction on the Nordschleife’s notoriously lumpen surface.
Looking at the timing it seems that Loeb completed the Nordschleife in a smidgen over seven minutes. The fastest lap for a front wheel-drive road car is currently 7minutes 54seconds or 7minutes 50seconds if you count the lap set by a pre-production Honda Civic Type-R.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on evo.co.uk this weekend for live updates from the N24.