The Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas recently hosted a track event called “COTA After Dark” and one of the stars of the night was a 2019 Corvette ZR1 that was pictured with glowing red brake rotors and flames shooting from its exhaust ports!
Mike Quattlebaum shared a few photos of his ZR1 on the Corvette Forum and we reached out for permission to share his photos here. Mike is no stranger to the track, and he drives primarily a C6 Corvette with BQS Motorsports.
The 2019 Corvette ZR1 is VIN 218 and was delivered at the NCM in April of 2018. It was one of the first manual cars built and the first manual in Watkins Glen Gray Metallic produced. Since taking delivery it has seen many track miles primarily at COTA.
In July 2020, Edge Addicts hosted “COTA After Dark”, a yearly track day under the lights at the US F1 circuit. Mike tells us he was hoping to catch some glowing rotor shots but was very surprised to see flames, especially in the quantity and magnitude they appeared. It is worth noting that this car is 100% stock and has been flashed with the software update that is supposed to prevent flames exiting the exhaust.
The ambient temp during COTA After Dark was 90+F and fuel was about 50/50 mixture of 93 and 102 octanes. Due to the high ambient temp and dash read oil and trans temps Mike says he cut each session a little short to avoid overheating. Even with the high temps, the ZR1 never threw a code, went into limp mode, or pulled timing from what Mike could tell.
After seeing these photos, we can’t help thinking about the 2011 C6 ZR1 commercial that Chevy made called “Still Building Rockets” and while that mostly dealt with the C6 ZR1’s speed, the latest C7 ZR1 “rocket” comes with afterburners! In fact, several inquired about the status of the ZR1’s rear emblem and if it indeed had gotten a bit toasty that night. Mike answers no, but the exhaust tips and inside butterfly valves are pink from the excessive heat!
One of the more memorable events Mike has had with the car was in June of 2019 where he and the ZR1 participated in the Gumball 3000 Mykonos to Ibiza Rally which passed through Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Slovenia, Italy, France, and Spain. The car performed flawlessly making the trip with ease while many Lamborghinis, Astons, Rolls Royce’s, etc. did not finish.
Mike sent us a few photos from the Gumball 3000 event which you can see here:
Thanks again Mike for allowing us to share the story of the 2019 Corvette ZR1 and the great photos from COTA and the Gumball 3000! For more on Mike’s motorsports activities, check him out on Instagram at @bqs_motorsports
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