ID. R Begins Preparations for Nurburgring Record Attempt in Spain

Romain Dumas has set his first test laps in preparation for his record-attempt at the Nurburgring. The driver and the car were on track at Spain’s Circuito de Almeria.

Although it’s still early going for the ID. R, Volkswagen knew exactly what it wanted to work on: regenerative braking.

“On a secured racetrack such as the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, you can push much closer to the limit than somewhere like the hill-climb at Pikes Peak,” says Romain Dumas. “I can brake harder and more aggressively. By adapting the software, the performance of the electric motors will be tuned for our new record attempt.”

Effectively, because a mistake is likely to throw the car into the barrier instead of over a cliff, Dumas can push the brakes harder and regain more power throughout the run. That bodes well for a quick time because, with more regenerated power, Dumas can push harder through the straights, too.

While we don’t know exactly why VW picked the Circuito de Almeria (seen below in a McLaren promotional video), its length (roughly 4 km or about 2.5 miles) and its long straights into heavy braking zones no doubt factored. The lack of snow probably didn’t hurt, either.

Although it’s a popular pre-season test track for many Superbike racing teams, it’s hard to recreate the strange alchemy of the Nordschleife. At 20 km long (12 miles) and with 150-odd turns to contend with, even a reasonably long circuit like Almeria struggles to keep up with its 13.

“The optimisation of an electric sports car for the Nürburgring is a great new challenge for the whole team,” says Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport’s director. “After its record outing on Pikes Peak, it’s really exciting now to witness the ID. R on a real racetrack.”

[Circuit map by Jorjum [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons]