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Another week, another exotic supercar sets a Nürburgring lap record

Nürburgring records are being reset almost as fast as an actual lap of the famous German racetrack. Over the past few months, Lamborghini has claimed the Nürburgring crown with its Huracán LP640-4 Performante with a 6:52.01 lap, only to be usurped by Nio’s all-electric EP9, which managed a 6:45.90 lap. But that record has now fallen as well.

Your new Nürburgring road-car record holder is the McLaren P1 LM, which achieved a fastest lap of 6:43.2 according to Lanzante, the United Kingdom-based firm that created it. You see the P1 LM isn’t a McLaren factory car, it’s a version of the P1 GTR track car modified for street use. That stretches the definition of “road car” just a bit, but there’s no denying the P1 LM put in an impressive performance.

The P1 LM was unveiled at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it set a record for Goodwood’s hillclimb course. For both that run and the Nürburgring record attempt, the P1 LM was piloted by Lanzante test driver Kenny Bräck, whose past accomplishments include an Indianapolis 500 win. After setting the ‘Ring record, the car was driven straight back to the U.K., according to Lanzante.

It was probably only a matter of time before the P1 LM reset the Nürburgring bar. The original McLaren P1 lapped the track in under seven minutes, but McLaren never said how far under. The P1 LM is a much more extreme car, boasting more advanced aerodynamic aids, as well as 986 horsepower, 83 more than the “standard” P1.

The P1 LM started out as the P1 GTR, a special version built by McLaren for track use only. The P1 GTR wasn’t road legal, so Lanzante decided to convert a limited number (just five customer cars, plus one prototype) for people to drive on the street. But the track is still where this car belongs, so it’s not surprising that the P1 LM thrived at the Nürburgring. Lanzante even plans to use the ‘Ring for final tuning of each customer car.

One may ask how lap times at one racetrack are relevant to a car’s overall worth, but the Nürburgring madness shows no signs of abating. While the P1 LM is about as exotic as current supercars get, the Aston Martin Valkyrie and Mercedes-AMG Project One are waiting in the wings. Both cars will leverage Formula One technology and engineering, and you can bet both Aston and Mercedes will make a beeline for the Nürburgring with them.

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Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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