Corvette’s Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter has finally made public the much anticipated NÃ¼rburgring lap time by the 2009 Corvette ZR1. On the morning of Friday, June 27th, GM Development Engineer Jim Mero drove the 2009 Corvette ZR1 around the NÃ¼rburgring in a time of 7:26.4. The entire post from Tadge is after the jump.
I know many people have been very interested in how fast the ZR1 would be at the Ringâ€¦
Most car enthusiasts are quite familiar with the NÃ¼rburgring. Built in the 1920â€™s near Cologne, Germany, â€œthe Ringâ€ is considered to be the toughest and most challenging race track in the world.
Over the last two weeks, we have been doing our final tuning and testing there before we start ZR1 production cars. This morning (Friday June 27), General Motors development engineer Jim Mero drove the Corvette ZR1 around the NÃ¼rburgring in a time of 7:26.4.
Jim commented after the lap that conditions were good except for a strong headwind down the main straight and that the lap was solid, but he felt there were a few places he could have gone faster.
The car was bone stock with the exception of the communications and safety equipment. The tires were production Michelin Pilot Sport 2â€™s. These tires have been developed specifically for the ZR1 and will have impressive wet traction and wear (tread wear rating = 220), in addition to excellent dry road holding. 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. The vehicle was exactly like the cars that will be built in Bowling Green, Kentucky and sold around the world later this summer.
Despite posting one of the fastest times ever run by a production car, NÃ¼rburgring lap times were not an over-riding priority in the development of the ZR1. The truth is, if the only priority was speed at the ring, the car would not be very pleasant to drive on American roads. The ZR1 is an incredibly capable track machine, but unlike most ultra-high performance cars, it is very easy to live with on a daily basis.
The timed lap was run with a rolling start, a departure from our previous practice of standing starts. This is more aligned with current industry practice. The lap was electronically timed and confirmed with two hand-held stopwatches. An in-car video will be posted when the engineering team returns from Germany. Look for it the week of July 7!
The time falls in the range where most observers thought it would, and we are left to wonder what the outcome would have been if the Corvette ZR1 had been driven by Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen, who lapped the ‘ring in the Corvette Z06 with a time of 7:42.9. The ZR1′s 7:26.4 is faster than the Nissan GT-R’s time of 7:29.03 but 1.4 seconds behind the unofficial 7:25 run by the GT-R V-Spec.
As Tadge mentioned, a video of the run is forthcoming. In the meantime, this video was just posted by the guys at BridgetoGantry.com. Because Tadge doesn’t mention whether or not the ZR1 had the track to themselves, and the video shows another car on the track, we’re unsure if this clip is actually from this morning’s 7:26.4 run.
A complete list of NÃ¼rburgring lap times can be found at wikipedia.