On the next edition of the "2014 Camaro Z/28 is the greatest factory open track car ever built," Z/28 program manager and pro-touring expert Mark Stielow explains how the engineers got a handle on wheel slip.
“We were told to build a fast car – period. We knew on Day One we’d need to bring some of the best suppliers onboard to make it happen.”
Combine a race-bred, fully independent suspension with Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires and Brembo carbon-ceramic brake rotors, and you have the ability to decelerate with 1.5 g of force. But just like a drag car with boatloads of traction, the tire was spinning on the wheel – not just with the wheel. How did they determine that? Just as you’d expect from GM, they used some extremely high-tech methods. They drew a chalk line on the tire at the beginning of the lap (sometimes the simplest methods are the best). By the end it had rotated a full 360-degrees or more. The engineers considered, and tried, several solutions including using an abrasive paint along the bead of the wheel. But media blasting, using an air gun to shoot a gritty material at the surface, proved the most effective in adding enough texture to prevent slippage.
“Media-blasting the wheel created an extremely aggressive grit on the rim, which finally got the tire to hold,” said Stielow.
In addition to deceleration, the Z/28’s rubber must also take the brunt of the LS7’s 505hp and 481 lb-ft of torque, which is distributed via a helical-gear limited-slip differential. Stand by for more coverage on the ultimate road racer, as it hits dealerships this spring.