The same way Pagani came out of the blue 11 years ago in Geneva with the striking Zonda C12, now he storms the motorsports world with the new record for the infamous Green Hell.
Despite not being even remotely road legal, the Zonda R was faster than its own track only competition, beating the Radilca SR8 LM and even more importantly, the latest track toy from Maranello, the Ferrari 599XX.
To be fair, the Zonda R is little to non related to the road going Zonda, no matter which iteration you're thinking of. Brand new chassis (carbo-titanium technology of course), stressed V12 engine from the almighty Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR and a truly sequential racing gearbox, 1.070 kg, bespoke everything. Just a handful of components are shared with the road going versions.
Regardless, even if the 599XX is """just""" a heavily modified, redesigned, updated 599 GTB, and you can well see that in the 1.521 kg weight, no one asked Ferrari to bring the car to the Nurburgring with Raffaele De Simone at the wheel, set a fast time, but not a record, and then start bragging about it. Not only the road going Radical SR8 was faster by 3 seconds with a 6.55 time, but its track only variant was a full 10 seconds faster with a time of 6.48.
To be brutally honest, I'd have hired a driver much more experienced on this track. No matter how good De Simone is, and I'm sure he is, but he is not one of those who race over there every given Sunday afternoon. He is not a Ringer, as they say.
You may argue that the FXX Evoluzione is probably faster than the 599XX... well, bring it!
Anyway, Pagani came to the track, set a time lower than the Radical for just one second and then they even took a while to release a statement and these official shots. You'd ask yourself if they are doing this only for their own satisfaction...
EVO Magazine was there documenting the happening, so there is possibly a huge review on the event coming soon, but if I was you, I'd stay tuned to TIJ for more because,
Official press release and more images after the jump, be sure to scroll down!
On this track with its 73 corners, bumps and compressions each component of the vehicle is exposed to severe stresses, that cannot be reproduced on other tracks. Each of Horacio Pagani’s creations has to be subjected to this ordeal, in order to reassure and guarantee the customers that they have bought a vehicle built without compromise, able to take the toughest treatment.
The laptime has been possible also due to a weight reduction of almost 200 kg compared to the road going Zonda F, including a carbon-titanium frame, lightened suspensions, a lower center of gravity, reduced polar inertia and improved downforce.
The Pirelli P Zero Slick tyres specially designed for Zonda R derived from the knowhow, materials and expertise of Pirelli’s Motorsports division, give an essential contribution to the extraordinary levels of grip.
The bespoke Pirelli P Zero slick tyres are created in Milan at the first line MIRS, the latest evolution of the innovative automated process patented by Pirelli, able to cover the entire production cycle, from compounds to the finished product without interruption or the waste of energy. The MIRS process represents Pirelli’s technological excellence and focuses on the production of Ultra High Performance and Motorsport tyres. In light of the technological goals that are achieved during the ongoing development, the Pagani team is pursuing the application of such results on future road going Pagani vehicles.
This result has been achieved in partnership with Pirelli, Mercedes-AMG, Bosch, ASPA, MHG, Logico, Bagatti and Ennegi.
All Pictures Copyright: Studio Zero for Pagani Automobili S.p.A.