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Volkswagen, Dumas Break Nürburgring EV Lap Record

Volkswagen ID. R and Romain Dumas break the electric lap record on the Nordschleife…

Photo: Volkswagen

Almost one year after its record-breaking run at Pikes Peak, the Volkswagen ID. R electric prototype achieved another milestone by setting a new record lap time for electric vehicles at the Nürburgring Nordschleife on Monday.

With Romain Dumas again behind the wheel, the ID. R completed its record lap of the ‘Green Hell’ in 6:05.336.

Dumas went more than 40 seconds faster than Peter Dumbreck’s previous lap record for EVs, set in 2017 at the wheel of a NIO EP9. The Frenchman’s run reached an average speed of 205.277 km/h (127.553 mph).

It was never really a question if Dumas would be able to break the existing EV lap record around the Nordschleife.

Without official times being taken, initial test runs at the Eifel circuit last month already made it clear that he quickly came under the seven-minute mark.

After two days of testing at the Nürburgring, further test mileage was racked up at Volkswagen’s own test track at Ehra-Lessien, before returning to the Nürburgring on Monday for the record attempt.

“When I was informed about the date, I thought they were crazy, right after the test day at Le Mans,” Dumas told e-racing365.

“But the problem is that there aren’t many dates available on the Nordschleife, so we had to take it anyway, there was no alternative.”

The day of running on the Nordschleife crowned an extremely busy four days for the Frenchman, who was at Paul Ricard for the Blancpain GT race on Friday and Saturday and participated in the test day at Le Mans on Sunday.

He left Le Mans at around 7.30 p.m. on Sunday and arrived at the Nürburgring around 3.30 a.m. this morning after a 700 km journey by car.

With only a few hours of sleep, he was already in the car well before 8 a.m. to complete what was officially regarded as an installation lap, but the time of 6:25 meant that the record was unofficially broken already.

With Volkswagen using two different chassis, just like in previous tests to maximize running time, three further timed attempts were made.

They were observed by Dr. Jens Boehle, the notary from the nearby city of Adenau, as outlined in the official regulations for Nürburgring record attempts.

The next run resulted into a lap time of 6:12. After the lunch break, Dumas did a lap that was said to be intended to test some setup tweaks, but the time of 6:09 meant another improvement of the time.

At 2.45 p.m., Dumas climbed into the car for one final run. A spirited drive saw him cross the timing beam after 6:05.336, which was later confirmed by the notary as the official new record lap time for EVs.

“It was a lot of fun,” Dumas commented afterwards. “I braked a bit late at Karussell, I don’t know why. Probably, I lost some five tenths of a second there.

“I took the inside line through Schwalbenschwanz for the first time. I was really pushing and I am very thankful that it worked out.

“Many thanks to everyone at Volkswagen Motorsport, to Sven [Smeets, head of Volkswagen Motorsport] and [Francois-Xavier Demaison, technical director] and all the others.”

Smeets hailed the performance by his French driver.

“Within one year, we have now set three records with Pikes Peak, Goodwood and the Nordschleife,” he said. “It has been an impressive journey.

“Of course, beating the record was a big relief. We would have signed for that time this morning. We were pushing the boundaries.

“We have proven what we wanted to prove. I think we should come back. But we haven’t finished yet for this year, there are still some things to come.”

René de Boer (@renedeboer) is a German-based motorsports journalist, contributing to a variety of publications worldwide, including, Autosport Japan and Motorsport aktuell.

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