In a game of supercar superiority, lap times matter and the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 pretty much embarrassed the new Ford GT by stealing its crown.
You’d think that Ford’s pretty much bespoke racecar modified to the bare minimum to make it street legal would trounce the country bumpkin Corvette, but that’s not the case. According to Chevrolet in an official press release they dropped earlier today (Jan. 31,2018) they proudly announced they ‘ve stolen the Virginia International Raceway crown off the top of Ford’s head by beating their GT by 1.3 seconds, a country mile considering VIR is 3.27 miles long.
To rub the salt in Ford’s wounds, they dropped the proof as well, an onboard video of the record with all the telemetry to back it up. Check out the video for yourself below.
First, let’s quickly go over the tale of the tape for these two juggernauts. The 2019 ZR1 costs around $140,000 and makes 755 HP and 715 lb-ft from its supercharged V8 LT5. The 2019 Ford GT starts at around $400,000 and makes 647 HP and 550 lb-ft from its twin-turbocharged Ecoboost V6. But at just over 3,050 pounds, it’s pushing about 500 pounds less compared to the ZR1. Still, at that price point, the ZR1 is the absolute bargain King.
There are several noteworthy points that make this record even more amazing. For one, whereas Ford had a professional driver behind the wheel of their Ford GT, Chevrolet had their dynamics engineer Jim Mero at the wheel, competent at the wheel but not a paid professional driver. Next, this particular lap was set during a particularly taxing section of validation testing where Chevrolet engineers where pushing the ZR1 hard over a 24-hour period at-limit. That presumably means they were running the ZR1 at 10/10ths the entire time in the name of durability. With so many upset ZO6 owners complaining about overheating, they weren’t about to make the same mistake twice.
“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.”
To be fair, Ford’s record attempt wasn’t in the ideal conditions with racer Billy Johnson just given two days notice and there being only two other Ford employees on hand to deal with any issues. Additionally, the Ford GT they used wasn’t even in full fighting trim, their GT still had AC, radio, non-titanium exhaust and several pounds of weight that could’ve been shaved off. I reckon if Ford was serious, they could take back the crown.
But still, with Ford announcing they won’t set lap records with the GT, it’s safe to say that the ZR1 will be VIR king for the time being. Ford has officially taken this L.