WE HAVE another record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife — though this one is somewhat different from the flatout laps achieved so far this year.
Whereas the likes of Lamborghini and Porsche have fought for fastest time honours this year, Ford decided to enter the record books by sending a Ford Mustang around all 12.9 miles of the Nordschleife sideways.
As rear-wheel happy as the road legal Ford Mustang GT can be, the recently-facelifted V8-powered muscle car wasn’t the tool the Blue Oval had in mind for this attempt. Instead, a purpose-built, 887bhp Ford Mustang RTR drift car was used for the run, with the 2010 Formula Drift champion Vaughn Gittin Jnr sliding the monstrous machine around the circuit.
“When we stopped for the first tyre change I was elated. I had to catch my breath”
Since the run was more about “having a good time, not [setting a] lap time”, Ford didn’t have any stop watches running. The fact that Gittin Jnr went through three sets of tyres during the smoke-spewing sideways session made the recording of a time even more unnecessary — though the professional drifter was going flat out enough to hit the gearing-limited top speed of 150mph.
Speaking after his run, Vaughn Gittin Jnr said: “Drifting the Nürburgring represents the ultimate challenge to me: it is something that many question would be possible and whether the car and driver could do it and come out in one piece. Something inside me had to take this on to find out.”
He added: I was out of my comfort zone for a majority of the hot laps. When we stopped for the first tyre change I was elated. I had to catch my breath, which is something I have never experienced behind the wheel since I was a rookie in Formula Drift.
“You will not see it from the video but I scared myself multiple times.”