The Lightning Lap happens every year on the Virginia International Raceway, one of the most demanding road tracks in the country. This year, 19 sports cars were pushed to their limits on this massive 4.1 mile course. Who came out on top?
These 19 cars were pitted against each other on one of the toughest tracks in the country.
Day 1 of the race didn’t start the way they were hoping — the track got rained on overnight, so they had to wait for it to dry out before they could even start the race. They even tried to dry the track with the cars, but that doesn’t work so well when it keeps raining.
Day 2 was basically the same as Day 1— more rain, more wet track and more time spent in the garage because they were unable to start the race with wet driving conditions. And then this kept going until the next week.
The first part of Week 2 is spent driving laps on a finally dry track, collecting data and learning where problems are occurring and what can done to reduce lap times even further. Each car is equipped with cameras and RaceLogic lap timers to help each driver keep track of their times.
After all was said and done, and the times were collected, and so, so many tires were changed, a winner was crowned.
The 2018 Mercedes AMG GT R took the crown, with a time of 2:43.4, followed closely by the Camaro ZL11LE at 2:45.7. Basically, the ZL1 1LE crushed everything but the GT R — a supercar — at this year’s Car and Driver Lightning Lap. It just goes to show that no matter how much power you have on the track — and there was a lot of power on this track — you just can’t beat a classic like the Camaro!
You can check out the hot laps for each of the car’s participating in the 2017 Lightning Lap on Car and Driver’s YouTube channel.