Late last week, Chevrolet released a teaser video for its upcoming documentary on the development of the mid-engine Corvette, titled Revolution - The Mid-engine Corvette Story. Around two-thirds of the way through the documentary, the cameras pan along a section of a race track that enthusiasts (and driving simulator junkies) will recognize as the Nürburgring. Watch closely at the 52-second mark and you will notice some rather noteworthy graffiti painted onto the track:
The track art, which was first spotted by Roadshow, shows “07:29.9” painted between snaking curbs in the Eifel forest. Certainly reads like a lap time, no?
We reached out to Chevrolet for more details, and a spokesperson confirmed that last summer, during vehicle development, a Corvette Stingray coupe equipped with the Z51 Performance Package clocked an unofficial 7:29.9 lap time on the Nordschleife. Behind the wheel was Corvette Racing team driver Oliver Gavin.
Gavin, who has a whopping five first-place finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans among a bevvy of other racing accolades (Daytona and Sebring wins to name a few), tweeted the video out yesterday as well, mentioning that “they even let me set a lap time!”
An unofficial time of 7:29.9 places the C8 Stingray amidst some heady company—a Porsche Carrera GT (older supercar, still impressive) posted a time of 7:28.0 in 2004 by none other than Walter Röhrl. For a more contemporary comparison, Sport Auto lapped a 992 Porsche 911 Carrera S in 7:30.41, meaning the C8 Stingray bested its longtime European foe, on German soil, no less.
We know that early drive impressions made mention of understeer issues, calling the car great, but not perfect—at least not yet. When we asked contributing editor Bozi Tatarevic to take a closer look at the C8’s suspension setup while he was onsite for the debut of the Corvette C8.R at Road Atlanta late last year, he learned that the suspension system should offer a lots off opportunity for tweaking and tuning, allowing track hopefuls to hone in on better setups.
Keep in mind that while 7:29.9 might not set the world on fire in a world where Lamborghini and Porsche each have more than one car capable of sub-seven-minute ‘Ring lap times, it’s still a very respectable performance for what’s essentially the base Corvette. Gnarlier performance variants like the inevitable Z06 and ZR1 are on their way, and those times are the ones which will really demonstrate to what degree moving the engine behind the driver has improved the newest Corvette’s track performance.