Nurburgring Lap Times, Jim Mero and the 2014 Corvette Stingray
Over the last two weeks we’ve seen a couple videos of the 2014 Corvette Stingray working out on the Nurburgring. One of our posts on Facebook wondered aloud if GM vehicle dynamics engineer and Corvette Track Rat Jim Mero was in Germany. Based on these photos from Chevrolet Europe, we believe the answer is yes.
Frequent readers and Corvette fans who follow the Nurburgring know that Mero was the driver behind the C6 Corvette ZR1s impressive ‘ring time of 7:19.63 back in 2011. He was also driving the Corvette Stingray when it set a time of 2:51.78 at VIR. As a refresher, the C6 Corvette Z06 with the Z07 package ran VIR at 2:53.50 in 2011 while Mero’s best time ever at VIR was in 2008 in the C6 Corvette ZR1 with a time of 2:45.63.
As the primary driving engineer responsible for working with the Corvette’s suspension and chassis tuning, Mero is the ideal person to drive the Stingray at Nurburgring.
“Nürburgring is renowned for its demanding race track and it is perfectly suited for our purpose, which is to fine-tune the ride and handling characteristics of the European Corvette Stingray,” said Jim Mero, vehicle dynamics engineer at General Motors. “We are paying particular attention to the suspension set-up and the steering at Nürburgring. European roads are quite distinct and different from those in the U.S., and so are driving habits.”
Chevrolet Europe Technical Director Patrick Herrmann (left), Jim Mero (center) and an unknown engineer (right)
look at data from the 2014 Corvette Stingray
So far GM has been mum on the C7 Corvette Stingray’s Nurburgring time but we just know that setting a fast lap would be on the table.
Remember that 7:19.63 Corvette ZR1 time that was set by Mero in 2011? While they were in Germany for that test session, the Corvette team also ran the 2011 Corvette Z06 with the Z07 package which earned a lap time of 7:22.68. As the Stingray was faster than the 2011 Corvette Z06 with the Z07 package and Michelin’s Pilot Sport Cup tires at VIR, can we assume that the C7 Corvette Stingray will be faster on the Nordschleife?