Owning Corvettes runs in Jason Thornhill's family: In addition to his Le Mans Blue '06, Thornhill's mother and father both pilot Z06s. After driving his Vette for about a year, the 27-year-old business owner decided to vastly improve its performance with one of LMR's LSX-based 750hp Punisher Packages.
After machining the GMPP block to 440 ci, the LMR techs topped it with Trick Flow's new GenX 245 Cylinder Heads, which flow upwards of 390 cfm. Combine that with a 12.5:1 compression ratio and a rowdy custom hydraulic roller cam, and you get 612 rwhp and 553 rwtq on the LMR dyno while running a conservative tune. Equipped with a T-56 manual and a race-ready RPS Street Twin Carbon clutch, Thornhill's flashy C6 would be the lone stick-shifter in this edition of our shootout.
Even with 10 years of racing experience under his belt, Thornhill had trouble getting the torque-laden C6 to hook up at the track. A conservative first-pass launch at 3,000 rpm decimated the tires, yielding a 2.65-second 60-foot time en route to a 12.1 at 126 mph. For the second pass, Thornhill dropped the rear-tire pressure from 20 to 18 psi, resulting in a much-improved 2.28 short time and an 11.83 e.t. at 126.
After cooling the car, Thornhill dropped the tire pressure another 2 psi and let LMR co-owner Steven Fereday make a pass. While Fereday could only marginally improve on the 60-foot time, with a 2.26, his shifting mastery became evident as the C6 screamed to an 11.49 at 128.2 mph. With the engine heat soaked and the session running late, Thornhill decided to call it a day.
Although his 440/T-56 combo couldn't best the automatics on this day, it won't be long before Thornhill gets his launch procedure sorted and starts cracking off some high 10s. Until then, he can take solace in the knowledge that the thrill of manually shifting this beast at 6,800 rpm on the open road will never fade.