BMW Team PTG/BMW of North America "Like a ride on a cannonball..." On June 6 the world saw another motorsports record fall to BMW as Hans Stuck drove a specially-prepared V12-powered BMW X5 around the 20-kilometer (12.5-mile) northern loop of...
BMW Team PTG/BMW of North America
"Like a ride on a cannonball..."
On June 6 the world saw another motorsports record fall to BMW as Hans Stuck drove a specially-prepared V12-powered BMW X5 around the 20-kilometer (12.5-mile) northern loop of the legendary Nurburgring circuit in Nurburg, Germany, in a time of 7:49.92 minutes. The "X5 Le Mans" is an engineering exercise that originated among BMW engineers to explore and demonstrate the absolute limits of this type of vehicle beyond just theory.
The X5 Le Mans is powered by the same six-liter V12 engine that propelled the V12 LMR to its win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1999. To break the eight-minute barrier is an accomplishment many thought was impossible with a sport activity vehicle - even for a driver the caliber of Hans Stuck. "We tried three times last year," said Stuck, "but had twice weather problems and one time a mechanical problem.
The target was to go below eight minutes on the northern loop of the famous old Nurburgring and last Wednesday we were lucky that the weather was good. Normally it is bad at the Nurburgring and good in the rest of Germany, but this time it was good up there and bad in the rest of the country. After going out in the morning and checking our settings my first flying lap in the afternoon was a 7:49.92.
People were totally crazy that I could go so fast as they did not think I could break the eight-minute barrier. The X5 reached 311 kilometers per hour (194 mph) on the straightaway. It was a ride on a cannonball!"