Pretty soon, it seems like the start of Nürburgring lap time season will take its place on motorsports calendars the same way you find with Formula 1 and NASCAR. The 'Ring season officially began last week, and the title card pitted the 2009 Ford Focus RS against the Renaultsport Megane R26.R. The Ford's numbers are 297 hp and 324 lb-ft; the Renault posts 230 hp and 229 lb.-ft, and the Megane's time stands at 8:16.9 (not 8:12) on its Toyo track-friendly rubber.
For the first round, the detuned 250 hp Focus RS test car managed 8:27 on "standard Continental tires," so Ford is reportedly looking at the full-fat 297 hp car to do around 8:15. Word is if they can get that close, they'll consider adding the Toyo Cup tires to the customer options list, which could subtract at least three seconds from the Focus' time and allow it to take home the 'Ring trophy for hot hatches. Ford will be back at the 'Ring next week to give it a go. Cheating? Perhaps. Pointless? Maybe. Fun for us to watch? Definitely. Hat tip to yaroukh