It was just yesterday we learned that the 2017 Corvette Z06 with the new suspension calibrations ran a fast lap of 2:39.77 at VIR. And now there is even bigger news from Chevrolet!
The 2019 Corvette ZR1 has also been to Virginia International Raceway where is set a production-car lap record with a time of 2:37.25 on the 4.1 mile Grand Course.
“The Corvette ZR1’s lap record at VIR, arguably America’s most challenging road course, is a testament to its supercar status,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “On the racetrack, the ZR1 can compete with any supercar — at any price.”
The Corvette ZR1 was outfitted with an 8-speed automatic transmission and the ZTK Performance package that includes Michelin’s Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer only tires and the adjustable high-wing. The Corvette was in stock configuration as stated by the owners manual, and the only add-on equipment was a safety bar and track seats with five-point harnesses.
The fast lap was set by Corvette’s vehicle dynamics engineer Jim Mero who was doing routine validation testing earlier this month. Chevy notes that part of the validation includes running the Corvette ZR1 for 24 hours of “at-limit” track testing with multiple engineers doing the driving duties.
The Corvette ZR1 is powered by the LT5 engine with the 2.65-liter supercharger that literally sticks out of the hood. Capable of producing 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft of torque, Corvette’s engineers added four radiators – 13 total – to manage the cooling of the sportscar.
“The track had been empty since mid-December, so it was a bit slow when we started, but the conditions turned pretty quick at the end,” said Alex MacDonald, manager, Vehicle Performance. “On the heels of announcing our Z06 time of 2:39.77, the ZR1 lap time is the icing on the cake. It’s not too often you set a lap record during validation testing.”
The news comes the same month that the much-hyped Ford GT set the production-car record at the course with a time of 2:38.62. That record lasted eight days by a car that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars less. No wonder Ford said they weren’t interested in chasing track records…