Corvette Z06’s 7:13.90 Nürburgring Lap: Industry Impact

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Corvette’s Nürburgring lap time puts America’s sports car just behind Porsche’s new 911 GT3 as the 12th-fastest street car lap ever run. Is this the future of racing?

German magazine Sport Auto likes to take cars to the Nürburgring and set fast laps with them. Given the fact that the track is practically in their back yard, why wouldn’t they? They’ll take a car to the track, stick their ace driver Christian Gebhardt in the driver’s seat, and test it with proper documentation. In the case of the C7 Corvette Z06, they were the first to publish an official time.

Corvette Z06 at Nürburgring

Even GM hasn’t properly thrashed the car at that track. Officially, this is the third fastest time Sport Auto has ever set at the track, behind only the Mercedes-AMG GT-R and Porsche’s 918 Spyder, both costing significantly more than the Corvette Z06. It’s certainly the fastest car the publication has tested with a manual transmission.

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Generally, Gebhardt’s time is usually a few seconds slower than a factory ace in the same car. Take, for instance, that 2018 Porsche GT3. Christian drove that car to a 7:18, while Porsche conducted the same test with their ace test shoe, Lars Kern, netting a 7:12.7. It’s possible a faster driver could get a Corvette Z06 to turn an even faster time than Gebhart’s 7:13.90. Watching the video, you can see a few minor mistakes that, if corrected, could easily get the car down a few more seconds.

If this car is potentially capable of a sub-7:10-second time in the hands of a factory Corvette racer, just imagine what kind of time the as-yet-unreleased winged wonder ZR1 could achieve. The current street car record is a 6:52.01 set by Lamborghini’s Huracan Performante. Could Chevy be out for blood? Is the bowtie aiming for the top of the charts with that wild car? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Automotive Industry Impact

We’re living in a new golden age of horsepower, but also a golden age of electric innovation that is marking numbered days for gasoline-powered cars. With recent news that Mercedes-Benz is shifting focus from Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) to Formula E, could Nürburgring lap time battles become the final form of manufacturer-backed internal-combustion competition?

Bradley Brownell is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

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