Yours truly managed to snag press credentials once again this year, so of course, I went down to Laguna Seca to get some practice in before the main event! This year, Monterey Car Week will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the International Motor Sports Association. This means nearly all of the famous GTP, Group C, and even LMP race cars will be present at the track!
The Monterey Pre-Reunion was chock full of awesome race cars from the past, including the legendary Audi R8 Le Mans Race Car that dominated The American Le Mans Series from 2000 to 2004! Also, there were more than a few fire-breathing Group C and GTP race cars, including the Toyota-Eagle GTP Race Car!
The best part of all this? I get to see these cars again starting Thursday! I’ll be staying at the track with some friends, so it’s going to be racing from sunrise to sundown!
The Monterey Pre-Reunion is a sort of practice session that kicks off the start of the week. Racecar owners and their teams could get laps in and dial in their cars for the fastest lap times. It’s a great opportunity to get really close to the action since it’s not as crowded as the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. In fact, it’s very similar to the Spring Classic series at Laguna Seca.
Of course, I’ve been getting ready for Monterey Car Week by tidying up my Lightroom Library! Plus, I got my Media Credentials in the mail! I’ll be shooting behind the fences once again!
To understand exactly how fast that is, first, you have to understand how big the Nordschleife is, and how fast a racecar can go around it. The original “Nordschleife” or “North Loop” was built in the 1920s around the town of Nürburg, in the Eifel mountains. Also nicknamed “The Green Hell”, the Nordschleife is almost 13 miles long, with 73 turns and massive elevation changes. Sports car manufacturers often use the Nordschleife to develop their cars, and it’s not uncommon for a car maker to boast about its cars’ lap times.
How fast is six minutes and 5 seconds?
A “fast” car can make the loop at around 8 minutes. The Alfa Romeo 4C did 8:04 back in 2013. A “very fast” car like the Ferrari 458 Italia can do it by roughly 7:30. An “extremely fast” car like the Lamborghini Aventador 770-4 SVJ can do it in under seven minutes. These are just production cars though, and the Volkswagen ID R is clearly not a production car.
The previous record holder for the fastest electric car was the Nio EP9, which made 1000 kilowatts or 1,361 horsepower equivalent. The EP9 was only a shade slower than the Lamborghini Aventador 770-4 SVJ at 6:45, which we already knew was “extremely fast.”
The Volkswagen ID R did it 40 seconds faster than a 1,300 horsepower electric car. That is insanely fast!
What’s more surprising is the fact that the ID R makes less power than the previous record holder. It “only” makes around 700 horsepower, but the car has an incredibly lightweight body weighing only 1,100 kilograms or 2,500 pounds. In addition, the ID R sports a very low-drag and high-downforce body, meaning that the car could take the Nordschleife’s 73 turns at a much higher speed.
Just imagine; in a few years, electric race cars like the ID R will be making insane lap times at our favorite tracks like the Circuit de la Sarthe, or even WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca!