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Ferrari 599XX sets Nurburgring pace

Hell-raiser: Ferrari's 599XX during its record-breaking run at the 'Ring.

The model that spawned Ferrari’s new 599 GTO smashes Nurburgring lap record

27 Apr 2010

FERRARI says its 599XX ‘rolling laboratory’ became the first production-based sportscar break the seven-minute mark at Germany’s famed Nurburgring circuit on April 21 – two days before the showroom model it inspired made its world debut.

Although no Nurburgring lap time has been revealed for the 599 GTO, which premiered globally at the Beijing motor show on Friday (April 23) and will arrive in Australia early next year, Ferrari says the hard-core version of Ferrari’s two-seat performance flagship is faster at its Fiorano test track than its discontinued Enzo.

According to Ferrari, the Italian supercar brand’s road car test driver Raffaele de Simone set a best time of 6:58.16 at the daunting 20.832km Nordschleife course in the Eifel Mountains, which was dubbed ‘the green hell’ by Formula One legend Sir Jackie Stewart.

34 center imageFerrari says the landmark lap time was only marginally quicker than the 6:58.5 lap set by German touring car driver Florian Gruber in another 599XX on the day, as well as the fastest time ever recorded by an F1 car at the Nurburgring – 6:58.6, which was quick enough to hand Niki Lauda and his Ferrari 312T pole position for the 1975 F1 GP.

Ferrari says the 599XX, which is described as an extreme berlinetta designed for track but not official competition use, easily betters the previous Nurburgring record by a production-derived model – 7:14.89 by the Donkervoort D8 270RS - as well as the 7:25.3 time set by Ferrari's own 2003 Enzo.

According to Wikipedia, however, while Nissan's high-profile GT-R narrowly out-paced the Porsche GT2 with a 2009 best of 7:26.7, the current Nurburgring production car record is held by a Radical SR8 LM driven by Michael Vergers, who set a time of 6:48 in August 2005.

No Nurburgring lap time has yet been revealed for Ferrari’s new 458 Italia, but the hard-core version of its predecessor, the F430 Scuderia, set a best time at the 154-corner circuit of 7:39.

Ferrari says the 599 GTO, which is neither quicker to 100km/h nor faster in terms of top speed than the mid-engined carbon-fibre Enzo, is a second quicker than Ferrari’s former flag-bearer at Fiorano (1:24 versus 1:25).

Although the GTO borrows some technologies developed for the XX like wheel ‘doughnuts’, others “will remain the exclusive preserve of the 599XX”.

They include the 599XX’s Actiflow aerodynamics system that increases downforce and/or cuts drag depending on the car’s trim during cornering, helping to deliver no less than 630kg of downforce at 300km/h.

It might not be as powerful as the 599XX’s engine, but a 500kW/620Nm 6.0-litre V12 and a kerb weight of 1605kg makes the GTO significantly quicker than the standard 599.

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