My subsequent passes were: 11.16, 11.12, 11.10, 11.08, 11.06, 11.03, and finally, on my 52nd pass in the car, a 10.85 at 129.50. This latter pass is the all-time record for a stock Corvette on drag radials. And it was not perfectly driven. The one driver error was an early 2-3 shift, 300 rpm short of target. What would be the outcome of the elusive perfect pass in a stock C6Z on drag radials? My estimate is the high 10.7s.
I close by highlighting an unfortunate consequence of running fast times in a stock C6Z. It puts the driver in violation of NHRA and IHRA safety rules that require a rollbar on cars running quicker than 11.50. Although track officials generally have some latitude, they frequently "boot" a driver for the day for running two passes under 11.50. Repeated "bootings" can lead to a permanent ban from a particular track, as I've learned the hard way.
Some "experts" advise biting the bullet and installing the rollbar in a stock Z06. But for daily-driven cars that would mean the drivers and passengers would need to wear helmets on the street to protect their heads from hitting the rollbar tubing in the event of an accident. By the experts' logic, safety at the track should take priority over safety on the street. That seems an imprudent trade-off.
I mention this issue because it will confront more Corvette owners as Chevy continues to give us the horsepower we want. As the fastest stock production cars continue to get even faster, the NHRA and IHRA will need to revise the rules to give owners of these stock cars, like mine, a safe place to race.
In part two next month, I'll be sharing the techniques I've learned for Ranger-style max acceleration through 550-plus passes at the dragstrip.
John "Ranger" Armstrong is producing a DVD on the aforementioned techniques for maximum acceleration in Corvettes. Scheduled for release the fourth quarter of 2007 via his web site (www.rangeracceleration.com), the DVD is intended to help Corvette owners get the most from their cars in a straight line, on the street and at the dragstrip.