The Corvette ZR1′s Nürburgring lap time of 7:26.4 last month has indelibly cemented the fact that this is the fastest Corvette ever produced by General Motors. Driven by GM Development Engineer Jim Mero, the Corvette ZR1 ran a blistering lap with speeds approaching 180 mph on the 12.9 mile, 100 corner Nordschleife besting the previous fastest Corvette, a Z06 driven in 2005 by Jan Magnussen by nearly 17 seconds. The video of this historic run was released this afternoon by GM and can be viewed after the jump.
Despite the nearly flawless run by Mero, who felt afterwards that there were a few places he could have gone faster, many Corvette enthusiasts are wondering why GM didn’t turn to its ranks of factory Corvette race drivers for the assault on the ‘ring. Despite Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter claim that “Nurburgring lap times were not an over-riding priority in the development of the ZR1″, besting all other manufacturers on this track would have been the ultimate crown for Chevrolet’s newest super car.
Juechter claims that the Corvette ZR1 used at Nurburgring is “exactly like the cars that will be built in Bowling Green.” The tires were production Michelin Pilot Sport 2′s. Chassis alignment and vehicle height were set to factory specs. Likewise, the engine calibrations were absolutely stock, emissions compliant and the car ran on pump (not racing) fuel.
And unlike the Nissan GT-R V-Spec, whose much ballyhooed 7:25 run was unofficially timed by bystanders at the track, the Corvette ZR1 was electronically timed and confirmed by two hand-help stopwatches.
A complete list of Nurburgring lap times can be found at wikipedia.