Die-hard TTAC readers who stick with us for the weekends might notice something strange about the site today: we’re missing a post. On Sunday morning, we republished a story that originally appeared on SVTPerformance.com. We did this after coming to an agreement with the administrator of that site to “re-pop” news and features that might be of interest to the Best&Brightest, in exchange for links back to the original site.
Yesterday afternoon, the fellow who had originally given us permission to publish the article changed his mind and demanded that we take it down immediately, stating that “[the article] was a direct copy with no link-back initially. When one was added it was a pitiful effort; a single hyperlink that looks identical to several other hyperlinks that lead back to your site.” We’ve honored his request to take the article down and to never, ever, ever link to the “SVT Performance” fansite again.
However, one important piece of the article — an email written by Jamal Hameedi regarding the merits of Nurburgring lap-time marketing — was delivered to us under separate cover by another source, so we’re republishing that after the jump.
Quoth the man,
Ring times! Oh man don’t even get me started on this topic. Our (my) view is that there is no such thing as an official manufacturer Ring time. The times being posted by many manufacturers are in my humble opinion akin to qualifying times being set at a race with no pre/post inspection (ie it would never happen). In the racing world – inspection/verification is a key part of the sport. In order for us to set an “official” time corner weights would have to be taken, calibration checksums need to be verified, engine power verified via chassis rolls, a hoist inspection, and probably a fuel sample taken by an independent 3rd party like a governing/sanctioning body. I would love to see this since everyone seems to be infatuated with Ring times. Having said that, I think it’s really important that performance cars be judged against one another on the track – but the comparisons really need to be on the same day by a professional driver (just track condition from day to day puts another huge variable in comparisons). We have seen lap time spreads of over 3 sec with same car same driver different day at VIR. Now extrapolate that to a track with a 7 min lap time. Motor Trend collects cars on the same day and puts a professional driver behind the wheel – not journalists whose driving ability puts yet another huge variable in lap times – and compares vehicles same driver same day. I think they do it correctly. So does Auto Motor und Sport in Germany.
The reason we test at the Ring is because it is a fantastic venue for doing vehicle dynamics work. You get so much different content in terms of turns, elevation, etc that you would need to visit 5 different tracks to duplicate it. It’s also a chance for our North American vehicle dynamics guys to cross pollinate with our Team RS guys since we are all one group now. Team RS gets a chance to offer feedback on the RWD cars and the SVT guys offer perspective on the FWD cars. That’s really powerful and worth spending the money to send cars and engineers over there. Renting the Ring exclusively ($$$$$!) to make a video – not so much. I’d rather put that money into the car.
I know this isn’t what the internet bench racers want to hear. As soon as there is a standard for measuring lap times – our performance vehicles will be the first in line to get tested. Until then – it’s just marketing and a total free for all. They are very cool to watch though. Lol. The 2013/2014 GT500 sold just fine without a published Ring time (who could have imagined!). Actually we spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make more GT500s due to high demand. I’ve seen other performance cars with published Ring times being offered with incentives and cash on the hood (again – who could have imagined!). So I sleep pretty well at night. And spend my days (and nights) working on the next slayer vs. worrying about Ring times.
Hopefully this gives you some perspective on where our minds are at wrt Ring times.
Does it ever! Thanks to Mr. Hameedi for this email, and let’s all cross our fingers that the nice people at the SVT Performance Fan Forum change their minds about working with us.