gthal

gthal

Regular
Casual User
Sep 16, 2013
100
6
Nova Scotia
VetteCoins
644
Car
2020 C8 Z51
First HPDE day

I just got back from my first track day with the C7 and thought I'd share my thoughts on the car.

For context, I generally get to the track somewhere in the range of 8 to 12 days a summer. Most of the track days are 30 minute on, 30 minute off days... so 3+ hours of actual seat time per day most (not all) times I'm at the track. I run in the "red" group which is the group immediately below the instructors. Having said that, I'm far from a pro but I do have a decent amount of experience.

Cars I have owned/run at the track...

2 different E92 M3's (one a 6MT and one a DCT)
C63 AMG coupe
An E36 M3 (this was a dedicated track, only car)


Cars I have had extended lapping sessions in at the track...

997 GT3RS
SLS AMG
C6 GS


Track prep

Carbotech XP10 pads
Motul 600 fluid
C7 track spec alignment
Mobil 1 15W-50
Differential fluid change


Other than that, the car was stock. I even forgot to put the rotor cooling rings on when I put the XP10's on last night

Thoughts from the day...

I was a bit apprehensive with the car my first session out. Stories of brake failures, oil leaks, Z51 brake inadequacy, etc were all on my mind So, until I had a good feel for the car, I took it easy. The apprehension pretty much went away about 5 minutes into my first lapping session

At first, I had a tough time with being as smooth and fluid as I'd like. The steering is so direct and responsive and the throttle and brakes react so quickly to input that the car reacts very fast to any driver input. By my second session, I had smoothed things out and then REALLY started to appreciate how direct and responsive this car is. It does EXACTLY what you ask and IMMEDIATELY when you ask it. Once you understand this and get a feel for the car it is immensely fun.

Turn in is very, very good. There are a lot of elevation changes and off camber corners at my home track. This car simply goes wherever you point it. Turn in and steering response is so good, the car feels much lighter than it is. The grip from the Super Sport tires is also very strong... far better than I had expected. The single biggest... and pleasant... surprise to me was how strong turn in is with the C7 and how much ultimate grip it has!! There is a particular off camber, downhill sweeping corner with a decreasing radius to the apex... the car pulled like a freight train each and every time to the apex. The only other car I have driven that was as capable in this regard was the GT3 and my E36 dedicated track car (completely stripped, full roll cage and harness, track suspension, Wilwood BBK, etc, etc).

The Pilot Super Sports were amazing... as mentioned. The got a little greasy towards the end of each session but remained very predictable and had lots of grip.

The car braked well with minimal fade. I now wish I would have run SS lines and maybe used XP12s on the front. The brakes were fine but I wanted a little "more" from them towards the end of the sessions. I felt the pedal needed a little more pressure late in the session than I like... but I'm also very sensitive to brakes at the track for obvious reasons. I'm thinking I will put some Spiegler lines on it, buy a set of XP12s and use Castrol SRF fluid next time out. Eventually, I will replace the rotors with AP Racing rotors when they become available. With those changes, my opinion is the Z51 brakes are more than adequate.

The car is perfectly balanced. The rear end is VERY planted and when the car slides, the entire car slides. It is so well balanced, I could almost drive the car with the throttle around sweeping turns. The rear and front ends are always communicating exactly what is going on all of the time. The best way I can describe it is perfectly predictable all of the time. A great feature in any track car.

I ran the car in track mode (Sport 2) and in Sport mode (with TC on and off). The track is a fairly rough track and I found Sport mode was better for keeping the car settled. The slightly softer damping was better for a track that has rough sections and uneven pavement in places. For a smooth track, I would use Track mode for the firmer damping. Having said that, even in Sport mode the car stayed flat in cornering and braking. Very impressive. Also, I found that even with traction control on, it was very subtle in its intervention... I preferred it off but even when on it was perfectly usable.

Summary

I am VERY impressed and happy with the C7 at the track. My favourite track car before this was my purpose built E36 M3. It weighed only 2,600lbs and was not street legal and ran on racing slicks. That car would run with C6 Z06's on my track (slightly shorter, more technical track) as it would corner faster and you could brake later to offset the horsepower deficiency. The C7 was faster... it handled the corners similarly but had WAY more power. The C7 was also as predictable and controllable... steering with your right foot was easy in this car.

I am SO impressed by this car... more so today than ever before. It is a great DD car, is beautiful to look at inside and out, and is a hugely capable and fast track car out of the box. Put some money into brakes and racing compound tires and this car would run with almost anything out there at the track.

Funny story... one of the instructor's day job is selling Porsche's. There were about 5 guys standing around the C7 admiring it and she came over and jokingly asked how many customers she was going to lose... they all put up their hands No joke One guy was telling me that after running with the C7 today in his 997 Turbo (and me being faster) convinced him it was time to trade his car for a C7... because Chev "finally got the design right all around."

I'm back out at the track tomorrow again... can't wait.

Here's a couple of pictures from today... I didn't have time to take more





 
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great write up.

At a timed event I was 7-8 seconds faster ( on a minute and a half course ) then a few street GT3's and one driving instructor that has two Porsche GT3 race cars asked when I was ready to sell my car to him.

The new Z06 in 2015 is going to be an amazing car to drive/race. I need to win a lotto in the next year.

Brian
 
That track is a lot of fun. Not very high speed but great elevation changes. Must have been a blast. How close are you to there ?
 
That track is a lot of fun. Not very high speed but great elevation changes. Must have been a blast. How close are you to there ?

I'm 45 min from the track. Close enough for it to be a far too expensive hobby :D

On the back straight I was consistently in the 180km/hr range. That's as fast (faster really) than I have ever been out there. In my dedicated track car I was consistently hitting 175 and it was prepped for that track. I think 185 to 190 is doable with a driver better than me and that is VERY fast for that track on the back straight.
 
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Sorry Gthal I didn't mean to minimize the speed of your home track. That track is crazy fun. Especially the roller coaster and I always love the right hander before coming onto the left onto the front straight. I raced in the Canadian National Superbike series and have raced there probably 15 times. Even crashed off the back straight once. And just recently saw it on YouTube. I live 15 minutes from Mosport. But other than my racing have only been on the track once with my Trans Am for 3 laps after sneaking on. Which my friends all did in High School until they got kicked off. Security is a little tighter now.
 
Great write up!!! I always enjoy hearing about members track days, but to also hear how capable the C7 is....fantastic! It really is nice to see that GM got it right on so many levels. Great exterior, finally a nice interior, power and exceptional handling. Please keep us posted on more of your tracks days, especially when you change out your brakelines to SS, brake fluid, etc. I would love to hear how these much of a difference these mods make.

Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk
 
Sorry Gthal I didn't mean to minimize the speed of your home track. That track is crazy fun. Especially the roller coaster and I always love the right hander before coming onto the left onto the front straight. I raced in the Canadian National Superbike series and have raced there probably 15 times. Even crashed off the back straight once. And just recently saw it on YouTube. I live 15 minutes from Mosport. But other than my racing have only been on the track once with my Trans Am for 3 laps after sneaking on. Which my friends all did in High School until they got kicked off. Security is a little tighter now.

No need to apologize at all!! I didn't take your comment in any way negative so no worries.

It isn't a fast track by any stretch of the imagination but, as you say, it is a very technical and very fun track nonetheless. :D
 
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Update...

Another GREAT day and the car was simply stellar. I was much faster today than yesterday (ask the two 911 Turbos and the 911S in my run group what they thought as I passed them each lapping session ). The car is so planted and predictable it is a joy to drive at the limit and the limit is very high for a street car.

The brakes were better today even though it was hotter ambient temp... that's bad news because I put the cooling rings on at the track this AM so they helped. Needing these are a poor design by GM... probably the only thing I wasn't happy about. Putting them on is a PITA... looks like AP Racing rotors for me ASAP.

Otherwise, amazing car!!!

Here is a recent C7 review that pretty much mirrors my own thoughts from the track this weekend :D... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyKVxV48sDk
 
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I just got back from my first track day with the C7 and thought I'd share my thoughts on the car.

For context, I generally get to the track somewhere in the range of 8 to 12 days a summer. Most of the track days are 30 minute on, 30 minute off days... so 3+ hours of actual seat time per day most (not all) times I'm at the track. I run in the "red" group which is the group immediately below the instructors. Having said that, I'm far from a pro but I do have a decent amount of experience.

Cars I have owned/run at the track...

2 different E92 M3's (one a 6MT and one a DCT)
C63 AMG coupe
An E36 M3 (this was a dedicated track, only car)


Cars I have had extended lapping sessions in at the track...

997 GT3RS
SLS AMG
C6 GS


Track prep

Carbotech XP10 pads
Motul 600 fluid
C7 track spec alignment
Mobil 1 15W-50
Differential fluid change


Other than that, the car was stock. I even forgot to put the rotor cooling rings on when I put the XP10's on last night

Thoughts from the day...

I was a bit apprehensive with the car my first session out. Stories of brake failures, oil leaks, Z51 brake inadequacy, etc were all on my mind So, until I had a good feel for the car, I took it easy. The apprehension pretty much went away about 5 minutes into my first lapping session

At first, I had a tough time with being as smooth and fluid as I'd like. The steering is so direct and responsive and the throttle and brakes react so quickly to input that the car reacts very fast to any driver input. By my second session, I had smoothed things out and then REALLY started to appreciate how direct and responsive this car is. It does EXACTLY what you ask and IMMEDIATELY when you ask it. Once you understand this and get a feel for the car it is immensely fun.

Turn in is very, very good. There are a lot of elevation changes and off camber corners at my home track. This car simply goes wherever you point it. Turn in and steering response is so good, the car feels much lighter than it is. The grip from the Super Sport tires is also very strong... far better than I had expected. The single biggest... and pleasant... surprise to me was how strong turn in is with the C7 and how much ultimate grip it has!! There is a particular off camber, downhill sweeping corner with a decreasing radius to the apex... the car pulled like a freight train each and every time to the apex. The only other car I have driven that was as capable in this regard was the GT3 and my E36 dedicated track car (completely stripped, full roll cage and harness, track suspension, Wilwood BBK, etc, etc).

The Pilot Super Sports were amazing... as mentioned. The got a little greasy towards the end of each session but remained very predictable and had lots of grip.

The car braked well with minimal fade. I now wish I would have run SS lines and maybe used XP12s on the front. The brakes were fine but I wanted a little "more" from them towards the end of the sessions. I felt the pedal needed a little more pressure late in the session than I like... but I'm also very sensitive to brakes at the track for obvious reasons. I'm thinking I will put some Spiegler lines on it, buy a set of XP12s and use Castrol SRF fluid next time out. Eventually, I will replace the rotors with AP Racing rotors when they become available. With those changes, my opinion is the Z51 brakes are more than adequate.

The car is perfectly balanced. The rear end is VERY planted and when the car slides, the entire car slides. It is so well balanced, I could almost drive the car with the throttle around sweeping turns. The rear and front ends are always communicating exactly what is going on all of the time. The best way I can describe it is perfectly predictable all of the time. A great feature in any track car.

I ran the car in track mode (Sport 2) and in Sport mode (with TC on and off). The track is a fairly rough track and I found Sport mode was better for keeping the car settled. The slightly softer damping was better for a track that has rough sections and uneven pavement in places. For a smooth track, I would use Track mode for the firmer damping. Having said that, even in Sport mode the car stayed flat in cornering and braking. Very impressive. Also, I found that even with traction control on, it was very subtle in its intervention... I preferred it off but even when on it was perfectly usable.

Summary

I am VERY impressed and happy with the C7 at the track. My favourite track car before this was my purpose built E36 M3. It weighed only 2,600lbs and was not street legal and ran on racing slicks. That car would run with C6 Z06's on my track (slightly shorter, more technical track) as it would corner faster and you could brake later to offset the horsepower deficiency. The C7 was faster... it handled the corners similarly but had WAY more power. The C7 was also as predictable and controllable... steering with your right foot was easy in this car.

I am SO impressed by this car... more so today than ever before. It is a great DD car, is beautiful to look at inside and out, and is a hugely capable and fast track car out of the box. Put some money into brakes and racing compound tires and this car would run with almost anything out there at the track.

Funny story... one of the instructor's day job is selling Porsche's. There were about 5 guys standing around the C7 admiring it and she came over and jokingly asked how many customers she was going to lose... they all put up their hands No joke One guy was telling me that after running with the C7 today in his 997 Turbo (and me being faster) convinced him it was time to trade his car for a C7... because Chev "finally got the design right all around."

I'm back out at the track tomorrow again... can't wait.

Here's a couple of pictures from today... I didn't have time to take more






Do you run the 15W50 purely on track days? What weight of oil does the C7 normally run? I use 5W30 normally but changed out the oil for track days to a 5W40. I didn't want to run an oil that was too thick, but now after reading your article, I might reconsider.

Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk
 
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