The Truth About Cars » vir The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:32:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » vir “Official” Performance Figures For The C7 Stingray Are Here… And They’re Grand Thu, 20 Jun 2013 19:15:00 +0000 Picture courtesy GM

The first source of performance numbers for the new C7 Corvette is, not surprisingly in this day and age, GM itself. Some of the numbers are extremely useful, others less so.

First, the basics. The C7 Stingray, when equipped with the Z51 Performance Package, turns a quarter-mile of 12.0@119. If you’re interested in comparing the C7 to the Dodge Omni Miser or something like that, the completely irrelevant 0-60 number is 3.8 seconds. Slightly more interesting, the 60-0 is 107 feet.

So far, so good. This is a properly quick car that appears to have a slight edge on the C5 Z06 and base C6. And to show what great guys they are, the GM Performance crew ran the car around VIR. But, as has been the case with some of their other Corvette testing, they ran the “Grand Course”. To understand what the “Grand Course” is, check the VIR website.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but Grand Course times are chickenshit stuff. The number of open-lapping days that use the Grand Course can be counted on a single hand in any given year. Races rarely occur on the Grand Course, because putting a race on the Grand Course requires one zillion flaggers and it increases the length of the lap by almost a minute. Thousands of driver/car combinations set VIR Full Course times every year, as I did with the Shelby GT500. By using a Grand Course time, Chevrolet’s insulated the car from any comparisons other than with Car and Driver’s “Lightning Lap”. I could also go on at length about the increasing difficulties in consistency you get when you add something like twisty the VIR Patriot Course to any laptime (the “Grand” is “Full” plus “Patriot”), but I won’t bother to do it.

So Chevrolet’s given us a meaningless laptime. I suppose we should be grateful for whatever we get. On the day when the first C7 is available, perhaps they’ll let me run it around VIR Full, maybe in conjunction with a tuned-up C5 Z06 or something, and we can get a number that every bench racer in America can properly pick apart, right?

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The SVRA Wants To Get You On-Track Mon, 06 May 2013 21:20:10 +0000 It's so pretty. Picture courtesy Blogspot.

What exactly is the SVRA? Why, it’s the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association. Your humble author held an SVRA comp license for a few years in the previous decade, because for reasons I do not understand the SVRA was the official sanction of One Lap of America. In my case, the sanctioning was legit because I was running an old 190E Mercedes, which managed one or two mildly surprising results in my hands.

In general, however, the SVRA restricts itself to old-car racing, with all the over-restoration and 7/10ths driving that implies. To bring more potential drivers into the fold, the organization has come up with an outstanding program that would be appropriate for any car and driver combination from E-Type to F-Type.

Classic Motorsports reports that the SVRA now offers a Driving Experience for would-be racers. For $495, you can get your own car on track and enjoy a series of exercises designed to bring you up to competence in a hurry. While there are literally dozens of trackday organizers in the United States, the SVRA program differs significantly from what you’d get at a typical lapping day. The most significant advantage is the presence and involvement of Peter Krause. Mr. Krause, like Ross Bentley, is among the gold-plated elite of driving coaches and his time typically costs a lot more than you’ll pay to work with him at an SVRA event.

If you haven’t been on-track yet, and you’re interested in getting started in an environment that is designed to protect both you and your vehicle as much as possible, I’d recommend giving it a shot. If you’re feeling slightly more adventurous than that… well, I’m coaching most of the TrackDAZE events this year, starting two weekends from now at Summit Point. Sign up already!

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Club Racing: Now Featuring Big Air And A Free Lesson Regarding Steering Sat, 08 Dec 2012 19:23:25 +0000 Click here to view the embedded video.

Whoa! The driver of the little Legends car had two ribs and his pelvis broken in this accident. But what can we learn from it?

Start with the good parts: Watch our driver’s heel-and-toe method. Notice how he saves all his shifts for the end of his brake zone and does them in rapid succession? That’s kind of the right way to do it. It’s much less dramatic than bopping down a gear at a time all the way through the brake zone like a Daytona Prototype heading into the Roller Coaster at VIR, but it’s the safe way for both the driver and the engine.

Now for the bad: Our driver is shuffle-steering, so when the BAD THING happens he doesn’t get to make a quick, measured correction. His hands are in the wrong place so he is forced to move them three times while hoping the steering wheel is heading to the right place. Luckily it all works out for him.

One of the neatest things about sedan racing at all levels, including LeMons, is that it regularly puts you in situations that street drivers will only experience a few times in their lives. If somebody ever blows a tire and spins out in front of our racer friend when he’s driving to work, he’s already had some real-life practice for the event. Wouldn’t you like to be able to say the same? Go race!

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Another Ride Around VIR Fri, 12 Oct 2012 13:00:06 +0000

Yesterday, I asked you to take a ride around Virginia International Raceway with me in the 2013 Shelby GT500. What I didn’t mention was that I had a brief dice with world-famous instructor and VIR hotshoe extraordinaire Peter Krause in his Sports 2000 racer.

Not wanting to lose to a VIR legend without a fight, I blocked him through 11, dumped him on the back straight, then finally had to let him by in Turn Three. It’s not my fault; I might run a 2:10 in the big bruiser Mustang, but Mr. Krause runs 2:02 in his actual race car. Check out a 2:10 lap with him. Although he only hits 125mph where I was hitting 168, and his car loses speed up the Esses, in the beginning and end of the track it’s simply magical. If you want to drive like this, give him a shout.

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