GSpeed Evaluates The 2020 Corvette’s On-Track Manners

Many enthusiasts who purchased the all-new C8 Corvette may likely do a little track time or autocross with their Corvettes, but the potential of using all of the car’s capabilities is limited. Seasoned track veteran and two-time NASA Nationals Champion, Paul Costas knows his way around a racetrack. Watch this video as he carves corners in GSpeed’s new mid-engine Corvette.

Paul was at the helm of the C8 in this recently-posted video of driving the C8 Corvette in angst. As he pushes the car closer to the ragged edge of control, he has an opportunity to experience the car for all it is — and isn’t. Some have reported downsides of the new car’s handling as, “severe understeer” and noted the car’s new brake-by-wire system as a possible issue.

The Corvette’s Performance Data Recorder has a slew of information available, including a playback video of the run. The folks at GSpeed take viewers along for the ride thanks to this cool option. Commentary is imposed over the screen throughout the video.

The video reports that while this C8 is basically stock and running on the factory run-flats, during the drive there appeared none of the issues perceived by others. It goes without saying that every driver (yes, even the factory Corvette Racing hot shoes) will push a car differently than another. Sometimes, these subtle differences can bring out a character flaw of the car not observed by others. Other times, it may show the exceptional finesse of some drivers to ease up to a potential issue, but regulate their adrenaline so as to keep the car effectively on the positive side of the equation.

We asked Paul about his first impressions driving the all-new car. “While a LOT of the pre-launch hype was not too kind to the car in regards to understeer and the new brake-by-wire, I found neither of those to be an issue,” he confided. “We started with a stock car and did a performance alignment in the middle of the day with another slight adjustment later on. Altogether, we found 1.5 seconds on this short 1.7-mile track.”

The purpose of watching this video is to get a good perspective of what the all-new, mid-engine design is capable of doing in the heat of competitive driving. We’d say that Paul’s driving is pretty aggressive and definitely better than the sloppy apex-gouging that we’d be doing in a similar situation.

I was very impressed by the lap time for a stock C8 on run-flats, especially on a very green track! – Paul Costas, NASA Nationals Champion

If you would like to see more about this C8’s on-track antics, you can check out GSpeed’s Blog or Paul’s for updates to the car’s progress. We’d have a LOT more fun wielding the “squircle-styled” steering wheel of the C8 instead of a laptop and a video viewer. Who knows, maybe then we’d get to experience that reportedly huge-understeer for ourselves. Either way, it’d still be a blast!

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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