Read This: How Bad Luck Kept the Corvette from Setting the Nurburgring Lap Time Chevy Wanted

Chevrolet famously said that it wanted to get the Corvette ZR1 around the Nurburgring in less than 7 minutes. It has yet to post an official lap time to that effect. In fact, Chevy has been suspiciously unwilling to post nearly any Nurburgring lap times for the C7.

In a new interview with Road & Track, GM engineer and Corvette test driver Jim Mero explains that it wasn’t for lack of ability, it was just a “series of unfortunate events.”

The interview is excellent, and Mero explains in enormous detail what happened and when to keep Chevy from posting, even good lap times, so you should go read the whole thing. In fact, go buy a copy of the July issue of R&T, because this is exactly the type of story that will be fun to come back to in a few years.

But put simply, getting a track record at the Nurburgring is hard. Not just because of the enormous challenge of the track and stiff competition from around the world, but also because you don’t have much time to record a lap time.

Back in 2013, when Mero was trying to beat the 991 911 with the Stingray Z51, “the fast-lap opportunity was the last lap of the day, and [the track] gave each company who requested it one lap a week,” he told R&T. And for that attempt, he says that every lap was spoiled by rain or fog.

Even when things went right for the team (as it did with the Z06 and the Grand Sport) they didn’t go quite right enough, leading Chevy to decide not to publish lap times because of the octane of the fuel or a video feed that crapped out. It all became so frustrating to Mero that he tried to delay his retirement but ultimately decided against it.

“Just because we never came up with anything, [the C7] is getting a bad rap, and it doesn’t deserve it,” he tells R&T. “It’s personal. Not because I want any kind of recognition, but because I want to show the world—or at least the C7 customer—that this car rocks.”

The whole interview is a fascinating look behind the curtain of lap times and the enormous effort that goes into setting lap records. It’s also a reminder that no matter how much time, skill, and effort you put into something, the fates can still decide to rule against you and keep you from succeeding.

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