With the 2020 Corvette going to a mid-engine platform, the old saying, “We don’t know what we don’t know” could never be more true. The folks at GSpeed have been driving the tires off of their recently-acquired C8 Corvette, looking for ways to improve this already impressive platform.
Veteran Corvette speed-gurus, the folks at GSpeed had a few tried and true tricks up their sleeves. How would the new chassis respond? There was only one way to find out, and thankfully, they were kind enough to take us along for the ride. Driver Paul Costas has created a blog to document their path to the quickest way around a track, and he gives an honest account of what worked, and what didn’t.
The OEMs have learned a LOT about ways to make a car perform. The days of quick DIY mods to make your car faster have been limited by the extent that manufacturers have gone to make the best auto possible. That greatly narrows the window of opportunity for improvement. But, in a case where you totally rearrange the driver/engine placement, it also means those smaller windows may not be placed the same distance from the floor as they once were.
Case in point was GSpeed’s intention of improving grip by removing the run-flats for a set of Toyo R888R tires. Better grip doesn’t always mean better performance and handling. As we see in Paul’s honest assessment of the encounter, changing something as essential as where the rubber meets the road can have a drastic effect on the overall balance of the vehicle.
We had mentioned in an interview with Andy Pilgrim about the changes that a mid-engine chassis would have on the car’s handling and one of those items was that the car could be even more responsive to a variety of inputs. Perhaps that is what we, and the folks at GSpeed, are seeing with this new car.
Paul explains that the bulk of their testing is in the upper five percent of the car’s performance envelope, and not likely anywhere near what most C8 drivers will experience. But, it’s at that razor’s edge where races are won and lost, and the team at GSpeed isn’t planning on losing! Check out the video of a few laps and enjoy the sweet sounds of the LT2 at full-song and check out Paul’s blog, where you can get a step-by-step explanation of what they’re trying and why.