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Randy Pobst Tests C8 Corvette Against C7 Corvette, There’s Only One Winner

Pitting the C8 against the C7 in Stingray flavor on the racetrack can lead to only one result, namely the superiority of the mid-engined design. But then again, what does a seasoned racecar driver think about this pairing?
C8 Corvette 80 photos
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Randy Pobst knows a thing or two about going as fast as possible by hitting the apex on every corner. The Rocket was the champion of the SCCA World Challenge GT four times, he won the 1996 North American Touring Car Championship, and he’s also a class winner at the 24 Hours of Daytona. In other words, Pobst is the man you should be asking about the eighth-gen ‘Vette.

Randy also happens to be acquainted with Chevy products. The latest addition to his garage is a blue ‘Mero from the 2019 model year with the 2.0-liter turbo engine instead of the 3.6-liter V6 or 6.2-liter V8, complete with the 1LE Track Performance Pack and Recaro bucket seats up front.

Turning our attention back to the Corvette, the Grand Sport is described by Randy as “the best-handling of all C7 variations.” The more sophisticated C8 is a Z51, and the tests have been performed at the Virginia International Raceway with a Chevy engineering team as well as Mike Petrucci.

Randy isn’t the kind of man who takes the words of the Corvette’s lead development engineer for granted. Driving talks louder than words, and the C8 didn’t fail to impress. Be it the street or track alignments, the eighth generation ran rings around the C7 Grand Sport. “Times were 2 to 3 seconds faster with less fall-off and better grip on a long run.”

There’s room for improvement, of course, including in areas such as the mid-corner understeer. The more progressive handling of the C8 is a welcomed change from the C7, whose heavier front often translates to snap oversteer for the twitchy rear end. Driving the seventh gen without the most essential of electronic nannies turned on is cumbersome on the street, let alone when racing on the track.

In other words, the C8 can be pushed to the limits of grip far easier than the C7 without the fear of getting sideways or in a ditch. The feedback from Randy is well-worth the read, so head on over to MotorTrend to find out everything he likes and dislikes about the all-new Corvette Stingray Z51.




 
 
 
 
 

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