NASCAR Busch 34sec slower than F1

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, Montreal, 2007A rare chance to compare F1 with NASCAR machinery arose this week as Terry Labonte tested a NASCAR Busch car on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve mere days after the F1 teams had packed up and left.

NASCAR Busch is GP2 to the NASCAR Nextel Cup’s Formula 1 – Busch cars have 650-700hp, Nextel racers about 750hp.

Labonte lapped the Montreal circuit in 1’49.86 – over 34s slower than Lewis Hamilton’s fastest qualifying time of 1’15.486 (45% slower, in fact).

To put that into perspective, Labonte’s car would have finished 14 laps down in the Grand Prix – and that figure is flattered by the four safety car periods we saw on Sunday.

It’d be fascinating to see a side-by-side comparison between F1 and full-blooded Nextel Cup machinery. Unites States Grand Prix at Talladega perhaps, Bernie?

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10 comments on NASCAR Busch 34sec slower than F1

  1. Simon Stiel said on 13th June 2007, 19:38

    Forgive me, but how is percentage worked out?

    Thank you for your help. Sorry I bother you with these questions.

  2. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th June 2007, 20:21

    The difference between the times (i.e. 34sec) divided by the lesser of the two times. In this case (109s-75s)/75s.

  3. sam said on 13th June 2007, 20:34

    and then you factor in the average NASCAR driver doesn’t know how to drive.. well, that makes the car even slower.

  4. Number 38 said on 14th June 2007, 5:36

    This is an assine comparison ….. the Busch cars WEIGH DOUBLE
    what an F1 car weighs and displace about three times as much AIR and the driver DRIVES them without aids such as traction control and engine mapping or power steering!

  5. Just for comparison:

    in Sepang in Malaysia they have no NASCAR race, but on F1 weekend the Porsche Super Cup race is on. This year the difference between fastest lap in F1 race and fastest lap in Porsche Cup race was 36 seconds a lap (1:36.701 vs 2:12.131). Lap in Sepang is about 1.2 km longer than lap in Montreal (5.543 vs 4.361).

  6. Dan M said on 14th June 2007, 15:18

    Closer then I would have thought actually. Considering anyone with a few bucks and some time can buy into the Busch series, the specifications of the cars are extremely governed, and these guys are used to racing on ovals, thats pretty damn close!

    Heres an experiment: See if the budget of Labonte’s Busch team is within 41% of McLaren’s development budget. Not to mention that Terry is about 400 years old now, lets see Jackie Stewards time around this course in Hammy’s car and see if it compares….

    Lastly, Montoya made a comment after racing the first Busch road race this season, I’m going to paraphrase because I don’t remember the exact wording: “In a Busch car I would start to brake around the 300ft mark, in an F1 car I wouldn’t even think about braking until the 80ft mark [on that corner].”

  7. Keen said on 15th June 2007, 6:41

    The differences in performance between an F1 car and a Busch/Nascar is the very reason I heavily favor F1 over Busch/Nascar. BTW, a Busch/Nascar doesn’t “need” to be as heavy as they are (approx. 3400Lbs), nor do they need to run outdated “technology” (i.e. carbs, pushrods, etc).

  8. Dan M said on 15th June 2007, 15:59

    The idea behind NASCAR is completely different than F1. NASCAR’s rules are meant to make it possible for anyone to be able to compete on an equal playing field thus making for close racing. Its more about the skill of the drivers and pit crew than how much technology can be crammed into the cars. It doesn’t try to be F1 and thats fine. Its certainly not my favorite series but that is an unfair comparison. I agree with you that pushrod technology is dead, but running carbs allows for the pitcrews to become more involved.

    Would you not watch a vintage F1 race because the technology is inferior to todays?

  9. sam said on 15th June 2007, 16:53

    Nascar is “more about the skill of the drivers”?? Ha! What skills do you need on an oval? Other than to steer away from crashes and hold your foot down on the gas?

  10. Dan M said on 15th June 2007, 19:19

    Please do not make such statements with nothing to back them. More uneducated statements just prove your overall ignorance of motor racing.

    Ignorance is Bliss, right?

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