Pierre Delahaye recently posted this video on Facebook where he is attacking the “Green Hell,” the Nurburgring Nordschleife (North Loop), in his “cammed” C6 Z06. Enthusiasts may remember when the Z-car first made its debut, how GM’s in-house hot-shoe, Jim Mero, carved the corners off of the famed track and piloted a production-based Z06 to an amazing time of 7:22.68!
The performance of the Corvette C6 Z06 is legendary, and since the car has found its way into the capable hands of enthusiasts, the performance potential has only increased. The car’s dry-sump oiling system and LS7 engine are ideally suited for any on-track adventures one might encounter. The proof is in the pudding that pilot Mero served up at every turn of the famous speed-venue.
Another enthusiast, perhaps more widely-known than Mr. Mero, has recently released a video of his sub-eight-minute speed venture around the Green Hell. You may not recognize Pierre Delahaye as some famous factory race-car driver or equally-capable test driver for any media outlet. Rather, you COULD say that Pierre is almost as muscular as his Z06. In the video, Pierre’s arms are evidently pretty robust, but when you consider on April 23, 2016, Pierre Delahaye won the title of Champion of France in all weight categories from the International Bodybuilding Federation, it all starts to make sense.
When you watch the video, you can see how driving at this level pushes the driver in a constant barrage of decisive turns and control inputs. Pierre handles each situation well, and as the lap-timer shows, he’s rewarded with impressive completion time. In full disclosure, this appears to be a “bridge to gantry” timed lap, which is held during tourist driving sessions and is just under 12 miles long. The tests conducted by GM were held on the entire surface of the closed-course.
Even so, there is no denying Pierre’s ability to tame the surface of this sinister road, carving corners in his Corvette like a pro. Seeing mere mortals (non-factory race types) enjoying the sweet, savory flavor of such aspirational exploits is reassuring to those who dream of the experience of driving in such exhilarating situations. As a driver, “cutting a good corner” can be done with limited practice. The problem with the Nurburgring is, you need to cut that corner perfectly, every time, consecutively, for the next seventy-two (33 left, 40 right) turns! Add in the constant altitude fluctuations and camber changes and it becomes quite clear how this stretch of German countryside has earned its nickname.
We’ve said for years that drivers at this level are just as much athletes as anyone who has ever hit, kicked, tossed, or caught any item for sport. There is just as much concentration and practice to proficiently get to the front of the pack, and of course, some financial cost. GM’s Jim Mero once posted on Facebook, “In the Z06, I ran through $10k worth of fuel on the autobahn. Can’t remember in the ZR1.”
In Pierre’s case, he’s both a capable driver and an accomplished athlete. Thankfully for us, he’s allowed us lesser types to tag along for a ride! Check out the video and we’re sure you’ll get a workout just watching from your screen.