Few tracks on Earth have greater claim to the word "Ring" in their name. The Nardò Ring, a circle with a circumference of 7.8 miles, is a "Ring" in the truest sense of the word. Porsche acquired the legendary testing facility in 2012, and since then has been working to exceed its former glory. It has taken seven years of working with local councils and 35m euros of renovations, but it has finally come to fruition. Nardò is open for business.
The four-lane circuit has been renovated, and the surface features new asphalt for enhanced safety at extremely high speeds. Porsche Engineering also designed an all-new guard-rail system for the track, designed around the facility's unique operating requirements. Per Malte Radmann, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nardò Technical Center and Managing Director of Porsche Engineering; “(w)ith the modernization of the tracks, the strategic development of the Nardò Technical Center advances decisively. This proving ground has always been one-of-a-kind and is now more than ever a cornerstone of the Porsche development strategy and of the vehicle testing activities in the automotive industry as a whole.”
The renovations are meant to scale with an evolving vehicle marketplace, with Porsche emphasizing its ability to test future mobility solutions. The circuit's broad surface will allow manufacturers to test everything from driver assistance systems, to fast-charging, to electric vehicle behavior over periods of extended use- the facility does have a history with 24-hour run records, after all.
More than A Single Ring
Though best known for its high-speed ring, the facility houses more than 20 tracks and other facilities. The total area of Nardò is more than 700 acres, and the facility employs more than 150 people. The recent renovations also included a revamp of the 106k square-meter car dynamics platform.
The Porsche Engineering Group GmbH has operated the facility since 2012, and offers engineering services not only within the Porsche brand, but to other manufacturers as well. Porsche Engineering offers strict confidentiality for its clients, and makes its services available across the industry.
Porsche Records at Nardò
Though these records are relatively little-known, a pair of 24 hour speed records set at Nardò may be the 928's most important contributions to the Porsche motorsports legacy. While a 24 hour closed-course speed record may not have the glamour of wheel-to-wheel competition, these are still important benchmarks for the brand.
The first of these two was set by a 928S in 1982, when the model achieved an average speed of 156.2 MPH over the 24 hour period, covering a total of 6,033 kilometers. The second came eleven years later, when a 928 GTS upped the ante. The mighty GTS bid further 928 development farewell with an astonishing speed of 165.11 MPH over 24 hours, for a final distance of 6,377.25 kilometers.
In Porsche's present era of record setting, we hope to see future records set at Nardo!