Stingray Corvette Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
18,670 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Very interesting, enthusiastic track review commentary about the Z-51, by a person with all the "creds" to give this review validity. So with great thanks to "Tool Hoarder,"

Default Drove my student's C7 Z51 at VIR yesterday - Extremely Impressed

Tool Hoarder said:
For reference I've been doing track days since 2002 and instructing/racing with NASA mid-atlantic since 2011. I have a couple track records (VIR and Summit Point) in the classes I run in. I currently race a ST2 prepared C5 Z06 with aero and have run a best of 1:59.4 at VIR. My thoughts on getting to drive a C7 (1LT Z51 with MSRC and comp seats) relatively hard at VIR yesterday. My student said I ran a 2:12 in traffic in HPDE-3 (guess he was timing)... will have video to follow when he sends it to me.

First... I fit in the thing... with my helmet... I was pleasantly surprised! I'm 6'4" 270 with broad shoulders. Took some fiddling to get the right position, but I was able to get 100% comfortable.


Not sure I'd want the comp seats for daily driving as they pinched my upper back a little, but they were nice for some fast track laps. I was very impressed at how well I was secured in the seat/interior with the standard 3 point belt. It was close to being as good as my race car with custom fit Ultrashield seat and full 6-pt harnesses. The "tight" cockpit feel allows you to easily use your legs to brace against the door and tunnel and the door panel is taller and really cushions your left shoulder. Steering wheel is nice and small allowing more knee/thigh room vs. C5/C6 plus it is telescoping even on the base 1LT.

A C5Z with a good seat and decent tires (and good driver) will easily keep up with a C7, but the C7 impressed me because for the first time GM has made a car that can hustle around the track in showroom stock condition. I was able to drive the car very hard and not fight myself inside the thing. The steering wheel/seat has tons of adjustment allowing me to fit and get comfortable.

Power band is awesome. The tires are very good, the brakes were solid the entire time out there, better pedal feel than my racecar. Have read a bunch on here of people complaining about brake issues... not sure if it's track dependent, but the car took multiple 150mph full deceleration runs on each straight at VIR with my big ass and my student in the car... thing was probably 3900lbs with the Z51 and both of us in it. No brake fade, but having some traffic helps with that.

The instrumentation and tech were really cool, the stock NPP exhaust sounded great in track mode, and the auto-blip throttle shifter thing worked great. I couldn't quite get the heel-toe working on the pedal setup (longer legs and bigger feet coupled with the pedal getting a little low) so I just turned it back on and let the car do it for me.

Every other stock Corvette I've ever driven was great with just a few mods, but this thing needs nothing; GM fixed all the nagging stuff. One interesting thing is the steering in track mode is stiffer than my car... I got back in my car a session later to go TimeTrial and it took a second to get reacquainted with the steering.

I couldn't feel any magic from the eDiff, and I had the car in track mode with the Performance Traction Management in level 5 (race mode). GM says their best test drivers are faster in this mode than with everything off. I could feel it limiting oversteer off some corners, but it still allowed for some rotation.

The temps were higher than what I'm used to in a C5/C6 platform, but no warning bells ever came on in the entire 30 minute session driving hard. I think oil temp was in the 270s and I didn't look at much else. Coolant temp was higher at idle and in the paddock at like 220, but it seems the C7s are tuned to run hotter.

Regardless... I'm sold... I mean I already was sold, but now I'm really super sold. Thanks to my student for demanding I drive it and drive it hard! I normally don't drive students cars let alone push them, but I couldn't help myself given this opportunity and my student asking for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Nice input. I can't wait to get mine for the track. Leaning towards the ZO6 and will see what magazine reviews have to say, otherwise Z51 with track (slicks) tires. Does any one have any idea on whether the Z51 or ZO6 come with SS braided brake lines? I can't seem to find any info on this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Great review. I'd love to see his video . . . .
I have Ron Fellows scheduled for November 6 and 7 and then I may be looking at some track days.:cool:
 
  • Like
Reactions: elegant

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,305 Posts
Thanks for posting John. What great and enthusiastic review :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Change the stock brake lines- you will be happy- along with the brake fluid change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,204 Posts
Yes, this is one great track car. Good to hear that his brakes held up to 30 minutes of hard driving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
306 Posts
Indeed the Z51 is great on the track! I autox'd my coupe before and it felt so balanced and poised... even when pushed hard through turns, it held its composure like its on rails.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,305 Posts
Indeed the Z51 is great on the track! I autox'd my coupe before and it felt so balanced and poised... even when pushed hard through turns, it held its composure like its on rails.
Exactly my feeling when I participated in the Ron Fellows Performance course.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MRACER

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
Thanks for the review! Since I'm looking at getting a Stingray for the track it's good to hear feedback like this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,930 Posts
John, great read!!

SF
Rick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,204 Posts
I'm 5'11 and have a hard time getting comfortable with a helmet on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,656 Posts
Had me at Fit comfortably at 6'4 270 w/ Helmet... I'm sold! (6'4 225)
I'm 5'11 and have a hard time getting comfortable with a helmet on.
Track guys that large are used to how they fit in most cars and what's comfortable for them may not be for someone of a more "normal" size.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top