Corvette ZR1 Crushes Ford GT in Car & Driver Lightning Lap

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C7 Corvette ZR1 Rear

Corvette ZR1 finishes second overall, leading its class and beating most cars in the class above it.

The folks at Car & Driver have just published the results of the 2018 Lightning Lap proceedings and the 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Weissach turned in the fastest time for this year. The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 finished second, just under two seconds behind the Porsche, while beating a long list of pricier performance cars that includes the Ford GT, the McLaren 720S and the Lamborghini Huracan Performante.

The only other vehicle from General Motors in the 2018 Lightning Lap was the new 2019 Chevrolet Camaro Turbo 1LE, which lead the entry-level LL1 class.

2019 Corvette ZR1 Front

Lightning Lap

If you are not familiar with the Car & Driver Lightning Lap, it is an event held each year at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) by the folks from the magazine and a long list of high performance vehicles. Each vehicle is pushed to its limits on the 4.1-mile VIR Grand Course and lap times are recorded.

There are six classes this year, five of which are based on price and one that is based on vehicle type, with the “LLTruck” class including a pair of sport utility vehicles. In total, there were 21 vehicles involved.

The classes for this year’s Lightning Lap were:
LL1 up to $34,999
LL2 $35,000–$64,999
LL3 $65,000–$124,999
LL4 $125,000–$249,999
LL5 $250,000 and above
LLTruck – Trucks and SUVs

ZR1 Shines at VIR

The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 turned in a lap time of 2:39.5, making it the second-quickest car overall and the quickest car in the LL4 class. The “winning” Porsche ran a lap time of 2:37.8, so the ZR1 was 1.7-seconds back of the overall leader, but it should be noted that the GT2 RS is in the more expensive LL5 class. The other cars in the priciest LL5 class include the 2018 McLaren 720S, the Lamborghini Huracan Performante and the Ford GT, all of which cost more than the ZR1, but all of which went slower than the ZR1.

2019 Corvette ZR1 Rear Wide

The McLaren was only two-tenths of a second back of the Corvette, but the Lamborghini was 4.5-seconds back and the Ford GT was a full six seconds behind the supercharged Chevy. The only other car in the LL4 class this year was the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3, which finished 7.5 seconds back of the Corvette.

In other words, the Corvette ZR1 stomped the Ford GT and all but one of the cars in its class and the class above it.

Corvette Second 2018 Lightning Lap

In fact, the ZR1’s lap time was not just the best time for this year’s Lightning Lap, it is the second-best lap time ever recorded in the Car & Driver proceedings. On the historical list of Lightning Lap times, the new list starts with the top three from this year’s running, making the 12th Lightning Lap the quickest to date by a considerable margin.

As you can see on the list here, the 2015 Z06 was the previous quickest Corvette in the Lightning Lap, with a time of 2:44.6, making the ZR1 5.1-seconds quicker than the Z06 on the VIR Grand Course.

Corvette Second All-Time Lightning Lap

Turbo Camaro Wins

In addition to the new Corvette ZR1, Chevrolet also provided Car & Driver with a new Camaro 1LE with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. That car competed in the LL1 class against the other least-expensive models and it beat them both by a considerable margin.

The Camaro went against the 2018 Subaru BRZ tS and the 2018 Honda Accord Sport 2.0T, both of which have no real basis for comparison beyond the pricing, and that showed. The Turbo 1LE ran a 3:05.6 while the Subaru was 8.4-seconds slower and the Honda was 12.8-seconds back.

2019 Camaro Turbo 1LE

Mind you, that is basically the base model Camaro coupe with the 1LE handling package, beating the BRZ by a huge margin, showing how well the Chevy muscle car handles compared to similarly-priced foreign performance cars.

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Patrick Rall is a regular contributor to LS1Tech and JK Forum, among other auto sites.

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