Add veteran racer Paul Costas to the ever-growing list of drivers enthralled with the new mid-engine Corvette.
The two-time NASA Nationals Champion recently enjoyed some spirited sessions pushing GSpeed’s new 2020 Stingray around the track and found none of the complaints some have posted on the Web about understeer and the brake by wire system, for example.
The car’s power, tires, magnetic ride, ride height, and brake pads were stock, with the only changes being straight pipes from exhaust manifold out the back “DP-Style,” as well as brake fluid and alignment shifts during some sessions.
Thanks to the C8’s impressive Performance Data Recorder, we get to see firsthand what Costas was seeing – and how the car was performing – as he pushes this Corvette around the track in four sessions.
His comments are pasted over the action, and he notes at one point that despite hot and some long sessions, the car never ran hot, with oil temperatures never over 225 and water temperatures never past 207 – good news for those who complained of cooling problems with some of the early C7 Z06s.
Costas also notes that despite the hype on social media about the braking by wire, he found the brakes to be “flawless” and always feeling “normal” with no fade warnings or any other issues.
The “huge understeer” problem that was mentioned by some early drivers wasn’t found on this example, according to Costas. “We are incredibly happy with base handling and are already working on upgrades to get more sport out of this sports car,” he said.
Times progressively improved with each session as Session 1 with Stabilitrak on ended at 1:24.7, Session 2 with Stabilitrak off ended at 1:23.8, Session 3 with alignment change front and rear ended at 1:22.8, and session 4 closed at mid 1:22s.
Overall, Costas rated the power “excellent” with broad flat torque delivery, transmission “excellent” with smooth rapid shifts and instant response, and brakes “excellent” for street tires and likely OK for 200tw tires. He also replied an enthusiastic “YES!” to the competition seats, “especially when belt pulled out and ratchet function used.”
In an interview with Andy Bolig of LSX Magazine, Costas summed up his experience with the C8:
“While a LOT of the pre-launch hype was not too kind to the car in regards to understeer and the new brake-by-wire, I found neither of those to be an issue. We started with a stock car and did a performance alignment in the middle of the day with another slight adjustment later on. Altogether, we found 1.5 seconds on this short 1.7-mile track.”