Video: Blown M3’s Nürburgring Record Attempt Ends In Big Crash

Those familiar with the Setra M3R understand how it’s able to bring the most out of a driver, as well as put them in a risky situation or two. Sporting an ESS Supercharger, this white comet uses 600 horsepower to dominate touristenfahrten days at the Nurburgring. It’s a heavily-modified car that once roamed the public roads, but is now happy to hound GT3 Cups, and owner Inge Hansesætre was on pace for a 7:15 ‘Ring lap when this happened.

His driving was superb. Glancing big curbs at speed, dropping the occasional tire in the faster corners, and nearly throwing caution to the wind, Hansesætre was committed, and with the ultimate barroom boast less than a minute from his grasp, he swapped ends and backed the car into the barriers with a sickening, depressing thud. All that work for a big crash largely out of his control.

Photo credit: Setra Motorsport

Perhaps he was carried away by the thrill of the chase and the goal so near. Perhaps he was soothed by the grip and traction offered by Michelin SX slicks, Moton coilovers, a spiffy OS Giken differential, and large Apex ARC-8 wheels, which all apply that power to the road without a hiccup. It’s so capable, it almost looks four wheel-drive at times, but that’s a tractable motor and solid footwork for ya.

All those goodies are topped off with a trick steering kit that gives him supreme confidence over the curbs and surface changes. A steering system from PeeBee Motorsport; which includes upgraded tie rods, control arms, and spindle spacers, allows for greater steering response. The spindle spacers straighten the control arms and tie rods after the car’s been lowered. An increased distance from the shock tower to the control arm-mounting points results in less camber change. As Hansesætre clouts curbs and drops tires—most spectacularly at 4:07—he needs to feel the surface change underneath him to react appropriately, especially at those speeds.

Sure, downforce helps, but when the car begins to slither in a low-speed corner, like the kind seen at 5:01, it’s all about having a strong feeling for what the tires are doing. Though these curbs deflect him somewhat, he continues his charge undaunted. This car is planted, and Hansesætre knows exactly where its going at all times, but no amount of money spent on confidence-inspiring suspension components can save them from an exploding waterpump slicking the wheels.

It could’ve been such a great lap. Sigh. Photo credit: Setra Motorsport

Though that mild popping heard at 6:22 sounds harmless after the scream of the V2-550 supercharger, the howl of the Michelins, and the scraping of the CSL diffuser, it is the sound of an inconspicuous assassin. Heading into Galgenkopf, the water pump pops and spews water on the driven tires, which lose their adhesion instantly and put Hansesætre into a slide even his quick hands can’t save. It’s a pity such a courageous drive ended in such an unfortunate and unfitting way, but at least he’ll be able to buff out the damage and go embarrass some hypercars in the near future.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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