This past weekend I headed up to Monticello Motor Club in Monticello, NY to do a bit of instruction with the National Auto Sport Association (NASA). I had been itching to get back on the track as it has been over a month since we ran in the One Lap of America. At first I was going to take my trusty Magnum SRT-8, but when my buddy said we’d just carpool and share track duty in his 2010 Corvette ZR1, well, who was I to argue. I got up around 4:30 am, was picked up at 5:00 and we made the 90 mile trek up to Monticello in no time. Now for those of you who don’t know about Monticello Motor Club it is a 4 mile circuit that is tight, encompasses changing elevations and has one of the longest back straights of any track around, perfect for a high horsepower car like theZR1.
I have a decent amount of track time in a Corvette Z06 so I was very interested to see how the two cars differed on the race track. Most people think of the ZR1 as simply a hopped up Z06 but man are they ever wrong. The engine, gearing, suspension and brakes are completely different than that of the Z06. The ZR1 packs a pavement shredding 638 hp supercharged LS9, magnetic suspension and carbon ceramic brakes which make this thing a complete animal when driven properly. Quite honestly the car is so fast and handles so well that it’s kind of unfair for everyone else.
On the back straight for example I was hitting just shy of 155 mph and I wasn’t going flat out, and with all that power I could literally pick people off with ease. The brakes are also in another category entirely as the ZR1 just begs you to dive deeper and deeper into whatever corner you may be entering. The other and probably most important thing that the ZR1 has over the Z06 is that it completely inspires confidence. Where the Z06 is a sledge hammer, the ZR1 is a scalpel and although faster, it is much more forgiving at speed.
Tracking the Corvette ZR1 was obviously the highlight of my day. It’s also a great way to get out some pent up aggression and fulfill my weekend need for speed. The other thing about the ZR1 is the price. For under $110,000 you get a car that has a top speed of 209 mph, does 0-60 in 3.2 seconds and more importantly stops from 60 in under 100 ft. At the end of the day I was pretty bushed so we packed up the ZR1, put the suspension in touring mode and cruised at 70 mph without a care in the world. I’ll say this… for the money, there is NO BETTER car on this earth than the Corvette ZR1.