ZR1 @ VIR

According to Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, and a man who knows more than a little something about (1) production cars and (2) performance cars, calls the Grand Course West at the Virginia International Raceway “America’s most challenging road course.” Which is pertinent because a 2019 Corvette ZR1 set a production-car lap record on the 4.1-mile course earlier this month with Jim Mero, a vehicle dynamics engineer who was at VIR doing routine validation testing, at the wheel.

According to Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, and a man who knows more than a little something about (1) production cars and (2) performance cars, calls the Grand Course West at the Virginia International Raceway “America’s most challenging road course.”

Which is pertinent because a 2019 Corvette ZR1 set a production-car lap record on the 4.1-mile course earlier this month with Jim Mero, a vehicle dynamics engineer who was at VIR doing routine validation testing, at the wheel. He turned in a 2:37.25 lap.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – VIR lap record holder on Grand Course West.

It needs to be emphasized that he was in essentially the coupe that consumers will be able to buy this spring for $119,995 (not including title, tax and dealer fees), as well as an additional $2,995 for the ZTK Performance Package option, which includes an adjustable carbon-fiber high rear spoiler, a front splitter with carbon-fiber end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer-only tires, as well as specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control tuning.

Reuss: “On the racetrack, the ZR1 can compete with any supercar—at any price.”

And the “any price” for most any other supercar is a multiple of that ~$123,000.

For testing purposes the ZR1 included harness bar and track seats with five-point harnesses, but other than that, it is a car built at Bowling Green like other Corvettes.

The car is powered by an LT5, 755-hp, 6.2-liter engine that features a new intercooled 2.65-liter supercharger system (which provides boost at lower rotational speeds) and GM’s first deployment of dual fuel injection (i.e., primary direct injection and supplemental port injection, which enhances combustion).

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – VIR lap record holder on Grand Course West.

According to Alex MacDonald, manager, Vehicle Performance, “The track had been empty since mid-December, so it was a bit slow when we started, but the conditions turned pretty quick at the end.”

Which could be the definition of “understatement.”