The Nurburgring, a 12.9-mile stretch of tarmac that winds its way around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel mountains has become a proving ground for the world’s car manufacturers as they attempt to outdo each other with ever faster lap times.

Everything from supercars to hatchbacks are driven around the ‘Ring at the hands of professional drivers who post times that no mortal will ever come close to, yet just like that theoretical top speed that is constantly used in pub arguments to decide which car is better, they are used as irrefutable evidence of the technical superiority of a vehicle.

There is no doubt that valuable lessons are learned by manufacturers in the development phase of a vehicle about how it performs around the Nurburgring but striving solely for the fastest lap time can result in a car that is rather unsuited for on-road use. What is interesting when examining these times is how technology has moved on over the years, and what was considered quick not that long ago is merely average today.

So this time, instead of going through the usual top 10 list of fastest production cars ever to have lapped the Nurburgring, we take a look at some of the more interesting laps completed by a variety of cars from various time periods.