- Jul 7, 2014
Students target Nürburgring record with hybrid racing prototype [UPDATE]
We talk about Nürburgring lap records all the time around here, but they're always qualified by some category or another: for production cars, for sedans, for front-drive hatchbacks... But nobody talks about the all-out record very much.
In qualifying for the Nürburgring 1000 km race in 1983, Stefan Bellof recorded a lap time of 6:11 in his Porsche 956. It was the fastest anyone had ever made it around the Nordschleife, and the fastest anyone has since – largely because top-level racing series don't compete at the Nordschleife anymore, and the last couple of Formula One cars to complete a lap were driving at a relative snail's pace for demonstration and nostalgic purposes alone. But a group of students in Europe are out to beat that record. And this is the car with which they aim to do so.
It's called the IM01, and it's the work of students at the Technical University of Eindhoven and the Fontys University of Applied Sciences, both in the Netherlands. They call their collective InMotion, and their design calls for a hybrid racing prototype looks like a cross between an F1 car and a Le Mans prototype, with a dose of Red Bull X2014 and Caparo T1 thrown in for good measure.
Underneath the sleek, no-holds-barred bodywork sit four individual electric motors (one in each wheel) with a rotary engine to serve as a range extender. It's got a canopy greenhouse, covered wheels, a blown rear diffuser and about as much ground clearance as a puddle of oil on the floor of a garage.
Though they haven't revealed any actual specifications for their designs, the students evidently hope it'll prove fast enough to knock Bellof and his thirty-year-old Porsche off the top of the leaderboard. That's assuming, of course, the project actually works and is authorized to run on the 'Ring, after which they hope to get similar approval from the FIA and ACO to run it at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the same Garage 56 slot that was previously awarded to the DeltaWing and Nissan ZEOD RC hybrid racing prototypes.