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Randy Pobst Drives C8 at VIR

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  • Randy Pobst Drives C8 at VIR

    This puts the understeer debate to rest...

    Click image for larger version  Name:	A393A3B4-3BB6-41C5-A844-2C1B55845D28.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	68.8 KB ID:	93424

    Originally posted by RandyPobst
    2020 Corvette Impressions On Street Alignment Settings

    My first laps in the new mid-engine C8 Corvette were on the street alignment. Thrilled, we strap into the upgraded interior, and though the squircle steering wheel is a bit odd, I almost never noticed it. I just let Mike push the buttons for his recommended choice of the many possible modes, asking only that he turn off all autonomy (stability controls); I want to do the driving, thank you. Basically what this meant was Race mode.

    Everything you could possibly want to know about the C8 Corvette and its predecessors is at
    My first impression was joyous. The monkey-motion was gone at last—hooyah! Second was the deliciously instant steering response. It was quick and stable as I carved into a corner, and revealed snappy trailing-throttle oversteer when I released the brake. Both are clearly influences of the mid-engine low polar moment. The next thing I noticed was the C8's ground-gripping traction as I accelerated off a slow corner, like VIR's Oak Tree. Wow! It rockets ahead and remains well balanced, even though it feels like it may wheelie!

    I found a consistent gradual side-slip in third and fourth gears, exiting faster sweepers. The C8 has more power oversteer at 80 mph than it does at 40. Unusual. The braking was strong and stable with moderate nose dive. There was some isolation, if not the degree of e-pedal numbness I feared, and the brakes were cooled with some really nice Z51 brake ducts. Last, there was no more float, better suspension damping, but not harsh.

    2020 Corvette Impressions On Track Alignment Settings

    Next, we switched to the track alignment. Chevy showed us the specs, and it simply comes down to much more negative camber, front and rear. The engineers are proud of the increased range of adjustment. And eight degrees of caster, street or track, which is a lot. The advantages of caster are that it creates camber gain when the wheels are turned, which is especially good for tight turns, and a strong self-centering force, for stability and good on-center feel. High caster will also cross-weight a chassis, because the outside wheel swings in an arc upward as the inside wheel swings down. The former and latter of these will typically work to reduce understeer. The effect of the added camber was much-improved grip everywhere, reducing yet not eliminating traits of midcorner understeer and drop-throttle oversteer, and raising speeds with better manners. The basic traits of midcorner understeer and trailing throttle oversteer were still there, just not as much.

    Times were 2 to 3 seconds faster with less fall-off and better grip on a long run. Tying this all together was an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission that worked quite well at full chat, completing the performance of a much improved product wearing the Corvette nameplate. Far more than deserving of the title, this fresh offering is a 21st century new chapter, with more room to improve. One step back with the engine is a giant leap forward for the Stingray.
    Last edited by brainf18; 12-02-2019, 06:31 AM.

  • #2
    Very positive review. A giant leap forward from the C7. Understeer is not a major issue. Randy likes it.


    • #3
      Yes, YES! Thanks brainf18 for finding this super important Randy review we have been long waiting for, e.g., now a featured slider thread.
      GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates.Lifetime, annual contributors, and 22 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


      • #4
        Not being a racer, I understood only half of what he describes, but I'll take it on faith that the car is amazing.
        C8 Coupe, Zeus Bronze, 3LT, TU7, HUE, GUI, CF7, EFY, EYK, J6N, NPP, E60, STI, VQK


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ralston View Post
          Not being a racer, I understood only half of what he describes, but I'll take it on faith that the car is amazing.
          I agree! I hope that more knowledgeable members will take the que and explain this to we mortals.


          • #6
            Originally posted by ltomn View Post

            I agree! I hope that more knowledgeable members will take the que and explain this to we mortals.
            Take the what? 😊
            Intended toy: C8 HTC with Z51, MRC
            Current toy: Saturn Sky Redline, lots of performance enhancements
            Former toy: Pontiac G8 GT


            • #7
              Take the incentive to explain to those that are not as savvy.


              • #8
                The video in the link is fantastic. Great post!
                Last edited by MrBluster; 12-02-2019, 08:55 AM.
                Ceramic Gray Metallic Z51 w/TT interior Spec Grey Wheels


                • #9
                  Per the MT video, they added three degrees of negative camber, front and rear, for the track settings... That’s unideal for street driving, as the inside of the tire will wear out well before the outside. Also for those who care (I don’t), that much camber will almost certainly harm 0-60 times. Perhaps adding 1 degree of negative camber only to the front, would be the best way of reducing understeer while also avoiding the uneven tire wear characteristics of more extreme camber. Either way, I am impressed by the range of alignment adjustment afforded by the stock suspension. It seems like you could dial-in the suspension to your preference without much trouble at all. Lastly, I would love to know the exact alignment measurements of the stock vs track configurations. Can anyone find these?


                  • #10
                    With that added camber, how much lower did the car become. I am used to seeing alot of rear camber on BMWs - stock from the factory.
                    Great opinions from Mr. Pobst ! The C8's 'gonna be a HOOT TO DRIVE....AND LOOK GOOD DOING.IT !!


                    • #11
                      It's always nice to read a positive review, especially when it comes from someone with a long history of driving Corvettes.

                      I will likely never see the track but it is good to know the car will be more capable than the C7.

                      The Corvette team has delivered quite the diamond in the rough with this base C8. I'm looking forward to where they take it.


                      • #12
                        Does the camber swing out when you dial in track mode?
                        Torch red 1LT, no options. Built June 4, received July 2


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by WillRockwell View Post
                          Does the camber swing out when you dial in track mode?
                          Not likely, GM would have a lot of complaints for worn out tires, especially for people like me. I drove my 16 Camaro SS in track mode 100% of the time.
                          The greatest sound in the world is a Rolls Royce Merlin over 100 inches.

                          1LT, Elkhart Lake Blue, Adrenaline red seats, Z51, FE4, Bright Silver 5-open spoke wheels, chrome emblems


                          • #14
                            Randy’s positive comments are basically a repudiation of all the “so called” expert automotive journalists like Matt Farrah who spoke harshly about the C8 without any fundamental mid engine driving technique or skill.

                            Perhaps those guys should get some track days with expert instruction and earn a SCCA or NASA competition license before they voice there clearly uneducated opinions. At least then they’d have some credibility to write about 10/10ths handling characteristics

                            kudos to MT for actually following up and providing an actual expert (Randy P.) to give his thoughts and provide the facts.
                            Last edited by brainf18; 12-02-2019, 11:14 AM.


                            • #15
                              Thanks for posting Brian. I have been waiting for this interview to come out, I really respect Randy Pobst. Great insight for us, so glad he loves the car!

                              Makes me sooo happy!
                              Vette's owned: 99 Sebring Silver Convert - 10yrs, 2008 Crystal Red Convert,w/cam, longtubes and Vortech supercharger. C8 ordered from Kerbeck, VIN 00336 built on 2/10/20 - Delivered 3/18/20 C8 Spec: Torch Red 2LT, Z51, FE4, E60, CF7, FA5, AH2, HUL, J6E, TU7, 3F9, Q8P, 5ZU, R8C