When news hit last month of the 2009 Corvette ZR1 running the NÃ¼rburgring, many of us were a bit disappointed to hear that lap times were averaging in the low 7:40s. After all, Jan Magnussen took a 2005 Corvette Z06 around the ring in 7:42.9 and the new Corvette ZR1 should be faster than that, right? So we kept reminding ourselves about how the track was wet and cold and that the timing was by hand and that the car held two occupants. Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter told us not to worry as the “ZR1 will beat the track record for production cars at any road course in the world.”
That’s a fairly tall order, especially in the light of the recent 7:29 NÃ¼rburgring performance by Nissan’s GT-R. Think about that for a minute. The Corvette Z06 piloted by a professional race car driver was nearly 14 seconds slower than the new AWD wonder. But does that make Tadge back down? Of course not, we’re talking about Team Corvette! According to Edmund’s Inside Line, Tadge said they’re expecting a lap time of “seven minutes, twenty-something seconds.”
Wow! I love the fact that our boys are confident in the ability of the Corvette ZR1 to perform and a lap of the 7:2X time would certainly make any sport car enthusiast familiar with the ‘ring say “%^$#!”
There’s no telling when the timed attempt at NÃ¼rburgring history will occur. Despite being at the famed 12.9 mile track last month, the ZR1 Corvette that GM used was a testing car and not a regular production model. And in the chat session early this week with Corvette enthusiasts, Tadge said in response to a question about the Corvette ZR1 taking on the World Speed Endurance Record like the 1990 ZR-1 that “we are currently focused on a perfect launch and getting the ZR1 into production. We will talk about record attempts later”.
So for now we’ll have to wait and see. My thoughts are that this will happen sooner rather than later, but it’s ultimately up to GM. Let’s just hope they add a bit of weight to the car in the form of an onboard camera when the attempt is made.