What would you do if you had access to a stock ZR1, one of the 24-Hours of Le Mans winning C6.R Corvette Race cars, and a wide open track? Of course, any gearhead worth his salt would line ‘em up head to head and see which one would win in a drag race; and that is precisely what the Editors from Road & Track did in this video we found on YouTube. As you’ll remember from our recent story on R&T’s test of the entire C6 line up (minus the brand new 427 Convertible), Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner showed up with one of the Compuware C6.R’s to run against the stock Vettes around Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch, so it’s only fitting that we get some drag racing action in there too.
Let’s take a quick look at what makes the C6.R the “R” Corvette. The rules of the GT2 category of the ALMS dictate that the cars have to use many production based components. According to the Corvette Racing website, the C6.R’s are based on the ZR1, and use the same hydroformed aluminum frame, chassis structure, steering system, body design and aerodynamics package. The C6.R even uses the same slightly flared fenders the production ZR1 because of GT2 class regulations.
The C6.R and the ZR1 are pretty similar, but far from identical. You’ll no doubt remember the Corvette Commercial from last year that talks about how the Corvette had to be de-tuned to compete with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche, and there is a lot of truth to that. GT2 regulations cap engine displacement at only 5.5 liters, so Corvette Racing’s engineers had to take the LS7 and shrink down both the bore and stroke to fit it within the rules. They refer to this mini-LS7 as the “LS5.R”. And you can forget the ZL1’s supercharger, because the C6.R has to remain naturally aspirated to compete, and is even forced to run two intake air restrictors 28.8mm in diameter. Still, the LS5.R makes 485 horsepower on E85R fuel.
Oh, and in case we forgot to mention it – the C6.6 can spank a much more powerful stock ZR1 in a heads-up drag race. Check out Road & Track’s video to see for yourself.