Video: Nervous C6 Grand Sport Hunts Down Tuned C5 at Willow Springs

When facing off against a completely sorted track toy, the shortcomings of a relatively stock car become apparent. Steven Kronemberger, the driver of this C6 Grand Sport, has recently made a stir on this site before battling against a C6 Z06 in his other track toy: a FK8 Civic Type R. Seeing the potential of the ‘Vette, he snagged himself the slightly less powerful version of the Z06 and started experimenting with the V8-powered brute the limit. As he came to learn, it was frighteningly fast, but it wasn’t the most forgiving car.

Competing in the American Muscle Cup, a time trial series based in Southern California, Kronemberger’s quick hands almost help him keep in touch with a sorted and slick-shod C5 ahead. The list of modifications to his C6 are short: a set of LG coilovers, NT01 tires, Hawk HP+ pads, and a Recaro Pole Position seats.

With few modifications, this attractive machine has all that’s needed for repeated hot laps.

These mods and his bold driving style were enough to secure second in the Modified Class, some 0.3 seconds behind a Viper ACR, but he admits there’s more he needs to adjust to the car. “The car is a little too soft,” he begins. As we can see the way the car begins to slide after nibbling the curb of Turn 4—also known as Balcony—at 0:33, the body control isn’t quite enough. “I touched the curb just slightly, but it upset the car for the next 2 turns!” he adds. As the Corvette snaps one way, and then the other, he countersteers accurately, but it’s clear that the suspension isn’t enough to keep the body in check. Quick hands keep him from nudging the hill, but it’s clear that the Grand Sport is just a little unstable over curbs, as well as in the quicker stuff.

After glancing the curb, the car begins to rotate left and right. Quick hands keep him from ending his session in tears.

Not that that dissuades him from keeping the Corvette sliding for the subsequent two corners, but it’s clear that this oversteer slows him. As gutsy as he is, and as willing to push the limits of adhesion, the lack of rear traction allows the composed C5 ahead to stretch a lead.

With a set of MCS 2-way coilovers on their way, Kronemberger is hoping to have the reassurance and stability to push this 436-horsepower monster a little faster through Willow Springs’ fast corners and over its bumps. Whether this added stability will diminish his drifting isn’t certain, but hopefully it won’t make his videos any less entertaining. Besides, with his penchant for outrunning much more powerful cars, he might be showing that Viper ACR his heels in the near future.

 

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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