The first Nürburgring car. 2009 ZR1 pre-production, PS-2 tires. 7:26. June 2008.
This car began life as a noise and vibration development car and now resides at the Museum. It was in the Museum’s Nürburgring display until we ran the 7:19 in 2011.
Perhaps if there’s enough of a demand after the full story is disclosed, we can get the 7:04 ZR1 in the museum, it’s the same car we ran the record lap at VIR.
Back to 2008, originally Jan Magnessun was slated to drive the ZR1 May for time. What seemed like bad luck at the moment was good luck for me. A wheel issue, which was quickly resolved, downed the ZR1 in May. We already had 2 laps scheduled, so we decided to run the 2008 Z06 to improve the 7:42.99 time Jan posted in 2006. At the time, the Z06 still had the Goodyear F1 super car tires…
Jan ran the car the 1st day, and I ran it the 2nd day. I ran a 7:38 which is in my Nürburgring photos. I’ll refrain on what Jan ran, but yours truly got to run the ZR1 in June for time. For the record, Jan is one of the coolest C7R drivers. Funny as all get out. I’m not implying that I am as fast a Jan, the difference was the number of laps he had compared to me.
At the time, the only thing I could think of was beating the Porsche Carrera GT’s 7:28 driven by Walter Rohl. A Nürburgring legend.
We had the track in the morning 2 days in a row. I posted a 7:26 the first day. However, in the turn Tiergarten which is the series of kinks at the end of the final straight, I did a 150 MPH tank slapper. It was not pretty on the video. But, if necessary, we were going to run with it. Fortunately, I ran a bit faster the next day, much cleaner lap, that is the video still on YouTube.
Backside story. I knew I could run the Z06 a few seconds faster that the 7:38 I posted in May 2008, so we had it in the pits. If I backed up the 7:26 with a clean lap, I was going to jump into the Z06 and have a go at it. When we ran the 2nd 7:26, I pulled in, jumped into to the Z06, went out in the reverse direction probably 1/3 way down the final straight, turned around, did huge burnout to try to get heat into the tires, started the lap, put it in the guardrail in the 3rd turn.
I guess that would be considered my first lap starting on cold tires…..
In my email report to the platform back in Michigan, I gave a whole dissertation on the ZR1 lap. The final line in the report was a halfhearted mention of the Z06. Everyone was so happy with the ZR1, I don’t think they read past the 7:26 lap time…..
Long story, I hope some found it entertaining, Thanks for reading it. Jim