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ZR1 Runs A Ring Around The Competition!

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On: Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 2:43PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

ZR1 Runs A Ring Around The Competition!

It should come as no surprise that when a company builds a fast car, they would very much like it to be the fastest car out there. But, for there to be a unanimous agreement that anyone one car is faster than another, an understanding must first be met about how these cars will be tested. That agreement, my friends, is called the Nurburgring. No, I didn't just pass out and fall face first onto the keyboard. The Nurburgring is basically a track built around the German town of Nurburg (now it makes a little more sense already, I bet). The 'Ring as it's been also called, is not just any track, but is nothing short of being one of if not the meanest, most unbelievably difficult tracks on the face of the Earth. The 'Ring is a 12.8 mile track that can twist, turn, shake, rattle, and roll even the most courageous driver into nothing more than a mess of embarrassment and driving gloves, surrounded by broken glass and crumpled sheet metal. 

However, there are a few drivers that are brave enough (and skilled enough) to take on the big, bad 'Ring. One of which is Corvette engineer Jim Mero. He recently piloted a brand new 2012 Corvette ZR1 around that infamous German track to the tune of 7 minutes, 19.63 seconds. For those of you that don't really have any idea about whether or not that time is good or bad, let's put it in perspective. First and foremost, Mero's time in the 2012 ZR1 obliterates the old 2008 ZR1 time by more than six seconds. Not only does the new Vette smack around the old Vette, it also beats some extremely impressive competition including such supercars as the the Lexus LFA, Nissan GT-R, Pagani Zonda, Porsche Carrera GT, Ferrari Enzo, and even its own American nemesis, the Dodge Viper ACR.

The only true mass-produced car that can still tease the ZR1 for being slow is the Porsche 911 GT2 RS that produced 620-turbocharged-horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Though, it is hard to call a production run of 500 models very massive at all. Still, 7 minutes and 18 seconds is faster than 7 minutes and 19 seconds, no matter how many were made.

There is no real explanation for why the 2012 version of the big Vette outran the exact same car of 2008. No appreciable advancements were made. One or two seconds could be chalked up to minutia over the course of the lap, but six seconds is enough time to make people wonder. Perhaps, it was just a better driver, or perhaps it was just a more buttoned down version of the big Z, or maybe, just maybe, it was the sheer desire to have the Corvette that much closer to becoming king of the hill without any disagreement from anyone.

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