Jim Mero spent 34 years at General Motors, his last 15 as the ride and handling vehicle dynamics engineer for the Chevrolet Corvette. When the carmaker wants to set a fast lap in the Corvette at the Nürburgring, Mero hops a flight; you'll find his name listed on the Wikipedia page for lap times for the 2009 C6 ZR1, the 2012 C6 Z06, and the 2012 C6 ZR1. Road & Track interviewed Mero to find out why the C7, which appeared in 2013, never laid down a benchmark. Mero told the mag a story of six years of bad luck.
It started with eight scheduled attempts in 2013 with the Stingray Z51. Every opportunity was ruined by rain or fog. One instance was when in October of that year the Camaro Z/28 ran a 7:37. Six minutes into the video water begins spotting the windshield, by 6:20 there's enough rain to turn on the wipers. Mero said he was three minutes behind the Camaro, the back half of the track so wet by the time Mero came through that he nearly ended up using the guardrails to rearrange Stingray body panels.
There followed five more years of near misses with the C7 Z06 and ZR1 for reasons wild and mundane. It was the dew point, or a crash, or the marketing department shooting down a great lap time, or new procedures instituted by track authorities, or broken cameras, or a broken car. And so on. Mero told RT he tried to push his retirement back to get another attempt in the ZR1, but it didn't work out.
Mero said of the C7's remarkable run of fouled efforts at the 'Ring, "Just because we never came up with anything, [the C7] is getting a bad rap, and it doesn't deserve it." Head over to RT for the full story and the quest for vengeance GM must surely take to the 'Ring when the carmaker rolls into Nurburg with the C8.