Though it may sport an OMP wheel straight out of a racing car, Patrick Prill’s C6 Z06 is still very much a road car. It might lack major aero, a semi-automatic gearbox, and a stiffening cage, but the burly Corvette manages to run with TCR, GT3, and other racing cars at one of the world’s most challenging circuits. But because of the differences between it (a heavier road car) and dedicated racing cars, Prill must proceed carefully, especially since this is the Friday before a race weekend.
One of its biggest strengths is its power. With the addition of LG’s longtube headers, metallic catalytic converters, Corsa mufflers, COMP cam, and some engine remapping bump the LS7’s output to 650 horsepower and 523 lb-ft of torque. This grunt, sent through a slow-shifting T56 transmission, pushes a car weighing just under 3,000 pounds. That amounts to serious straight-line speed, but it doesn’t appear difficult to deploy power on the more technical portions of the Nordschleife.
Throughout the tighter sections of the circuit, the Corvette corners incredibly well. With Bilstein MDS coilovers, LG’s splitter and rear wing, and a well-worn set of Michelin S9L slicks, this ‘Vette is able to complete a lap of the ‘Ring in 7:10! It’s also fast enough to run with the major players during a VLN Friday practice at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. You’ve got to love the relatively casual atmosphere there; it’s hard to imagine sneaking into practice for the 24 Hours of Daytona in a C6.
The Big Bore Advantage
Straight-line speed is one of its better strengths. In fact, it’s fast enough to easily outrun a Porsche 996 GT3 Cup car through the straighter section after Kesselchen (5:23). Having that power is a real asset since it means Prill doesn’t have to resort to a dicey overtaking maneuver and can pass the Porsche carefully. After all, some people have real races they’re practicing for, while our man was only out for a little fun.
Naturally, that means the Corvette blitzes past the GT86 racing cars like they’re standing still (6:50) — now we see where that hackneyed phrase comes from — and the C6 looks like it’s able to take just about anything the VLN field can throw at it.
A Rival with Racecraft
When rejoining the GP circuit after the first lap of the Nordschleife, getting in a dice with the 135i racing car ahead demonstrates the value of low weight, strong brakes, and a hard-charging driver. Though the power disparity is strong, the slithering BMW’s lesser weight and racing brakes allow it to recover its position with late braking, then charge away through the tight infield.
After a tough lap, it’s again near Kesselchen that, likely with some help from the BMW’s driver, Prill is able to get around with a late dive on the brakes (14:40). There, we see some strong racecraft at play. The two stand to lose the least time in their respective laps; the BMW is obviously unable to outrun the powerful ‘Vette on the narrow straight ahead, so it only makes sense to let the Chevy through by extending the braking zone slightly. That way, nobody is blocked, and their laps are virtually unimpeded. It may be Friday practice, but they are racers, and they are still looking for an indication of pace.
Prill proceeds cautiously, finds the right places to pass, and uses that monstrous motor as well as anyone could. This footage demonstrates passing etiquette on the ‘Ring, a clear indication of just how racing cars and powerful road cars differ, and a message of encouragement to all looking to move from track driving to wheel-to-wheel racing. What better way to boast to your friends over a few celebratory drinks than by telling them you overtook a fleet of dedicated racing cars in a street-legal Corvette?