2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Sets Lap Record at Virginia International Raceway
Hot on the heels of Ford’s “accidental” lap record at Virginia International Raceway last week, Chevrolet gleefully announced that the upcoming 2019 Corvette ZR1 smashed the Ford GT’s still-fresh time by 1.37 seconds.
At the start of this satisfying and very patriotic series of landmark laps, the gone-but-not-forgotten 2016 Dodge Viper ACR made headlines in 2015 when it set multiple production lap records at a handful of tracks—one of which was VIR, where the be-winged Viper carved through the verdant track in a smokin’ 2:40.02.
That record apparently stood until last week, when a Ford GT supercar whipped around the track in an impressive 2:38:62. Not only was this a feather in the GT’s carbon-fiber cap, but Ford nonchalantly claimed this wasn’t even a planned record-breaking run, and only part of a validation lap to iron out a few developmental kinks.
Now, Chevrolet is the record holder, cracking the GT’s record a week later in the 2019 Corvette ZR1, clocking in a blistering 2:37.25 time. Following in Ford’s treadmarks, the automaker played it cool when discussing the new record in a release. According to the Corvette team, this too was a validation run, not meant for cracking the lap record.
This wasn’t some stripped-down test mule special, either. Aside from different seats, a harness bar, and five-point harnesses, the record-setting ‘Vette was bone stock. It was equipped with the ZTK performance package, adding a deep, deep front splitter, adjustable carbon-fiber rear wing, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and MagneRide suspension. It also packed a supercharged 6.2-liter LT5 V-8 making 755 hp and 715 lb-ft of torque, which may have played a part in setting the record.
GM cheerfully points out that the record was set by Jim Mero, a vehicle dynamics engineer for GM, and not some professional hotshoe like the record-setting Ford GT’s Billy Johnson, who is part of the team who pushed the Ford GT at Le Mans.
Watch the ZR1 set the VIR lap record in the video below.