Back on Labor Day weekend at the Yellow Bullet Nationals, Ron Schlessinger’s Outlaw 10.5 ZR1 Corvette, with Larry Wood driving, was involved in a hairy accident that took out some body panels and quite a bit of mechanical gear in the process. Never fear, though, as Jason Enos, Jamie Miller, Billy Gilsbach, and the rest of the team at Victory Racecraft are on task getting the car repaired and set up in time for the 2013 season. Not only are they performing the needed repairs, but Schlessinger decided to make some changes in the program as well while the car was down.
We spoke with chassis builder Miller recently to get a handle on what’s to transpire through the course of the build.
Left: The nose section of the frame was crunched up nicely in the accident. All of this tubing has to go. Right: The car on the jig with all of the crushed sections removed.
“The structural damage was mostly contained to the front of the car. The accident swung the two down bars and factory framerails over to the side, along with damaging the K-member. Of course, that includes the A-arms, control arm mounting points, and all of that. All of that structure had to be replaced. It needed a new nose, and luckily Ron had a mold made off the nose when it was built originally, so we were able to get another one-piece carbon nose for it. We had to replace the right-rear quarter-panel and tail section also. All of that is carbon fiber too,” he explained.
Once the team had the damage assessment under control, the discussion turned to wintertime upgrades. Since the car was already in the shop, Schlessinger decided to go ahead and rebuild the turbo kit, as the previous iteration had been deemed very difficult to work on. According to Miller, “Ease of repair, or replacing a turbo – all of that was pretty difficult with the way things were designed before. We tried to simplify everything to make it so everything works together now. The headers roll outside the framerail now, where before they were tucked into the engine bay; but you couldn’t take them out unless you pulled the engine from the car. We rebuilt them on the outside of the framerail and made a nice new mounting system for it.”
Left:The driver's quarter-panel had to be replaced,and since these are carbon-fiber on the ZR1, its replacement was right up the alley of the Victory team. Middle: New headers and turbo kit were constructed to make in-pit repairs easier. Right: The rear of the car had to be massaged back together.
The car features a 670 cubic-inch ProLine big-block and Rossler two-speed transmission, and since Wood has already been 4-teens in the eighth-mile, we expect that the team can only get better with the new Victory Racecraft tricks underneath. You can check out the whole build gallery on Victory’s Facebook page.