Fight! Corvette ZR1 beats Ford GT's lap record | Top Gear
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Fight! Corvette ZR1 beats Ford GT's lap record

​Just days after Ford set a new record at the VIR, Chevy comes along and smashes it

Published: 01 Feb 2018

It’s all going down at the Virginia International Raceway. Over the last two weeks, an unexpected ding-dong between Ford and Chevrolet has erupted: both companies have hit the track to duke it out for the fastest production car lap record.

Ford showed its hand first, if a little unexpectedly. It simply arrived at the circuit with a pre-production GT to take part in some testing, with hot shoe Billy Johnson at the wheel. Without trying, Johnson beat the previous production car record of 2m 40.02s (held by the Dodge Viper ACR), sending the 638bhp, 216mph GT around VIR's Grand Course layout in 2m 38.62s.

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That record didn’t stand for long. A few days later, Chevrolet decided to put its fastest car – the new 755bhp, 210+mph Corvette ZR1 – around VIR's technical and challenging circuit (often dubbed the Nürburgring of America) to see if it could better Ford’s effort.

It did. With dynamics engineer Jim Mero behind the wheel, the ZR1 took another chunk out of the record with a 2m 37.25s lap, 1.37 seconds quicker than the Ford GT's time. We’re told that aside from a harness bar and five-point harnesses, the record-breaking ZR1 was the same off-the-shelf product you can buy, set up with alignment and aero settings specified in the owner's manual. It was fitted with the $2,995 ZTK package which gifts the shouty GT2 RS rival an adjustable carbon fibre wing, front splitter, sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, and track-ready magnetic ride control.

Considering that you can buy five Corvette ZR1s for the price of one Ford GT, could it be the biggest performance bargain in history? Let us know below after you’ve watched the blistering lap in the video above.

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