Meeting Marco, the man who took a Lamborghini round the Nurburgring in under seven minutes

Seven minutes. That’s how long it took Marco Mapelli to get around the classic Nurburgring behind the wheel of the Lamborghini Aventador SV.

Ok, he actually went one second quicker than that, in the process getting the Lamborghini membership to an exclusive club that includes the Porsche 918, the Radical SR8 and, so it’s claimed, the McLaren P1.

That’s the entire list of road cars that have managed the 12.9 mile lap of the Nordschleife in less than seven minutes. Lamborghini’s effort was assisted by a 6.5-litre V12 engine producing 740bhp along with 50kg of weight saving, turning the Aventador in to the Super Veloce model.

Copious amounts of carbon fibre reduced the body weight, while fixed cooling intakes and fixed rear wing kept things working well without the need for weighty motors. A new front splitter added more downforce, keeping the development Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres firmly attached to the tarmac.

Behind the wheel was Marco Mapelli, GT racing and Pirelli development driver. A man used to pushing things to the limit, how did he feel about his lap and the public response?

Marco Mapelli

“Well, for sure it was a big challenge and a massive effort from all the people involved,” Marco told Jonny Edge exclusively for FrontSeatDriver.co.uk. “It’s been amazing seeing such an incredible response from people all over the world; it really shows how much passion and charm Lamborghini has kept through the years.

“Every lap on the ring is difficult, this track demands respect all the time. This one was like a qualifying lap, and of course, it was a mixture of feelings – fighting and fear yes, but also fun. Driving on the edge left me breathless at more than one point!”

While the sub-seven minute time was the highlight, Pirelli were there to develop their road-legal P Zero Corsa tyre. “We ran through the program quite well. It helped that the weather was on our side, but we did take a couple of days to get used to everything.

“It’s such an incredible track. Care is needed on every corner, and the fear that you feel increases with the speed that you go.”

The battle between Porsche’s 918, Ferrari’s La Ferrari and the McLaren P1 is fierce, but the Lamborghini has jumped straight in to the middle of that fight.

“The 4WD traction is something really special about this car,” explains Marco, when asked what separates the Aventador from its rivals. “It makes this big boy very easy and controllable to drive. From an aesthetic standpoint… well, as you can see it’s as aggressive as hell.”

“I have one secret, though; every time I sit in the car and drive the Nordschleife, I feel scared!”

Marco is racing in the Italian GT Championship this year with Audi Sport Italia. He’ll also be competing in a few long distance races and a couple of ELMS rounds with team PROTON Competition.

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Phil is a motoring writer for print and web, failed racing driver, car hoarder and banger rally competitor. Nominated for the Headline Auto Rising Star award and a MGMW member, Phil freelances for outlets as diverse as Diesel Car magazine, DAD.info and Cambridge Magazine, amongst many others. He also maintains a fleet of unloved motors, but spends most of his time driving an old Corvette.

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