MotorTrend has a new feature out this week that compares the Ford Mustang GT500 to the 2020 Corvette Stingray Z51 on the Full Course configuration at Virginia International Raceway. The Chevy fanboys (I have a founding membership) will tell you right away that it’s a comparison between the highest horsepower Mustang to the base engine in Z51 trim, a difference of 265 hp. But regardless, the Corvette Z51 goes down fighting as you will see.
The on-track comparison is interesting as it shows what both cars do best. The high-horsepower Mustang absolutely flies on the straights while the mid-engine Corvette carves up the corners. (Haven’t we heard this before when it is was Corvette vs Porsche?).
MotorTrend’s pro driver Randy Pobst drives both cars and they have a great graphic showing the track map and each car’s progress around it, and they also designate which car is leading. We can’t embed the video, but you can watch it here at MotorTrend.
From the start of the race, the C8 jumps out in front due to its ability to put down power through the curves and is able to maintain that lead all the way down to turn 12 where the old Oak Tree used to stand. As the two cars hit the backstretch, the superior horsepower of the Mustang finally overtakes the mid-engine Corvette by turn 14 and they take the win with a time of 1:59.68 vs the 2:00.96 for the Corvette.
The article itself is full of comparisons and contrasts between the two cars both to each other and anything not made in the USA. Overall it a very good read. Take this description of the Corvette which I enjoyed:
The Corvette has long been the bad boy of the racetrack, the Bart Simpson of supercars: rude, loud, cheap, unpredictable, and hard to handle, but fast and fun in its own brash way. Now, the Corvette has finally grown up. The C8 Corvette is more sophisticated, capable, and mature.
Randy Pobst used this experience when he discussed how to make the C8 Corvette even better on the track. But already we are more than impressed with the knife that Chevy that was brought to this gunfight. The car was set up to OEM track specs which changes the camber on the tires. In that configuration, the lap times improved by 2 to 3 seconds! A Corvette Forum member named “Tool Horder” says GM test driver Jim Mero’s best time in a C7 Z51 with track alignment is 2:02.9, and it corresponds to what Tadge Juechter said on Autoline that time tracks will automatically be 1-2 seconds faster in the C8 Z51 as compared with the C7’s Z51.
While that sub-2:00 minute time on VIR’s Full-Course by the Mustang is very fast, by comparison, the 2019 Corvette ZR1 owns the Full-Course record with a lap time of 1:51.25.
Make sure you visit MotorTrend and watch the video!
[VIDEO] 2019 Corvette ZR1 Claims the Full Course Lap Record at VIR
Randy Pobst On How To Make the C8 Corvette’s Handling Even Better
Randy Pobst Drives the C7 and C8 Corvettes at VIR for MotorTrend