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Old 01-05-2014, 03:40 PM   #1
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Tracking the Z/28

There seems to be a lot of confusion (and intentional misdirection by some) about the Z/28's purpose in life.

It was born and lives to do "Track Days"
.

*Period*

It's obvious by 95% of the posts on here though that people have no idea what that means! I created a new thread in the Camaro "Tracking" forum (yes, there is such a thing!) explaining simply and clearly what "Tracking" is all about, links to cool videos, and telling a little bit about myself and my involvement as a credentialed SCCA driving instructor for many years with this insanely fun activity.

This is the direct link to that thread: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=335710

I personally invite you to give it a visit and learn about this "hidden" fraternity of track-crack addicted nuts. The Z/28's pure mission in life is track days, and if you buy one you'll own one of the most supremely capable turn-key trackday cars ever made. I make that statement from experience in the paddocks and on tracks :-)

What non-track experienced people don't understand is the concept of taking a car to the track, that you can drive all day on track, for several days if you like, and not have it break. Steilow and teams goal was to build a car that is both fast and durable for lap after lap after lap. Any car has the possibility to be a one-lap wonder, but maybe you've never seen the dog-faced owners of cars that break down, overheat, lose the brakes, throw CEL's etc after that wonder lap.

I want to drive there, get my laps on, and drive home. Not sit around making excuses about why my car broke. Anyone here who has trackday experience knows exactly what I am taking about. Mustangs with failed brakes, overheating Nissan GT-R's, GT3's with broken clutches or coolant leaks. On and on.

The development team has directly stated the Z/28 was engineered to provide dependable, durable and fast laps. Value? Priceless!

Click the link, learn what tracking the Z/28 is really about, and I hope to see you at the track!
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:48 PM   #2
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I could not agree with you more. The origin of the Z28 is about road racing. And the new Z28 is pure to that origin, and then some. Yes, it is expensive, but new technology/advanced engineering isn't cheap. It will destroy more expensive cars.
An awesome car.


I owned a '95 Z28. I bought it new (ordered it), drag raced it, drove it on the street when the weather was good, and then when I found out about "open track road racing" I was hooked.

Wait.....you mean.....
I can actually:
- take my own car on a real race track, yes the real deal, some of the MOST FAMOUS tracks in the country, the same ones you see the pros race on

- participate under safe and controlled conditions (ain't gonna happen on the street, and we all know someone who pushed to hard on the street and got bit), with no police to throw me in jail (well, don't do anything stupid, respect others and what you are doin' and don't drive over your skill set), there are experienced instructors to guide you and even some who will help you pull your skills to another level, and hopefully they sign you off to go by yourself. Awesome!!

- drive your hot rod near its limits, that is if you actually have some talent. While I respect the skills needed for drag racing, road racing requires a whole other level of skills. Your instructors will push you if they are confident in your abilities. I could never be an instructor. These guys are riding shot gun, their butt is on the line too, and if they have confidence in your abilities, they will push you to go FASTER! I had some great instructors, one in particular who helped me build my own confidence. When you can push (theoretically better handing) cars in the turns you get a rush that is extremely addictive.


If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough.”
― Mario Andretti

^^^^^^^^^^If things start clicking for you,
you will understand this^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^“

- learn skills and procedures that you can actually apply to street driving, which will make you a SAFER and more ALERT driver.

I have always been an auto racing enthusiast. Roundy round, sports cars, open wheel, NASCAR, drag racing. I understand racing and automobile dynamics. Yeah drag racin is fun, easily done (lots of strips around), and relatively cheap to participate, but the thrill is so short lived, and the abuse on the drivetrain at launch really blows. Open tracking is leaps and bounds more thrilling, wait it is addicting! Cost wise, your actual "on track time" is actually less expensive compared to drag racing.

While I have highlighted the differences vs. drag racing, I understand most auto enthusiasts, even die-hards, never have considered even drag racing, let alone tracking, and that is perfectly fine, to each his own. But those who have balked at the Z28 for whatever reason, really, if they don't "get" what it is about, then they have zero relevant arguments. I agree with Al Oppenheiser why the ZL1 should not have been the Z28 (it almost was). GM nailed it.



I went to Pitt Race (www.pittrace.com) formerly BeaveRun (better name if you ask me!) with my Z28. I live exactly 100 miles from there. My car HAD to be bullet proof. Drive there, beat the hell out of it, and drive home. It was modded, heads/cam, drivetrain, suspension and brakes, nothing crazy. Never gave me any problems....lap after lap, all the while getting compliments from owners of "faster" cars, 'cause I passed them, multiple times.

I sold that Camaro and went thru some other cars, but Chevrolet came out with another track capable Camaro, the 1LE, and I am working towards getting one. And it will be right at home at the Beav'.
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:56 PM   #3
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I could not agree with you more.
Wow, amazing post.

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Old 01-05-2014, 06:07 PM   #4
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Bring your wallet to the track...you'll need it. Race fuel $10-12/gal, brakes, and tires all go quickly. Otherwise it is the best time you can have with your Camaro...or any car.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:29 PM   #5
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Bring your wallet to the track...you'll need it. Race fuel $10-12/gal, brakes, and tires all go quickly. Otherwise it is the best time you can have with your Camaro...or any car.
It's a fact that tracking uses consumables and typically the faster you get the more you consume Slower folks, either by talent restriction or intent will spend less.

The Z/28 will be perfectly fine to run on pump gas, no need for race fuel. Personally I'm planning on tires every 3-4 track days and brake pads approx every 6 track days. That'll vary by track due to surface and track configuration.

These expenses are the nature of the beast. I don't take vacations as some people do, I spend my vacation money on track days because I am far more relaxed after some happy lappery then I ever would be on what others would consider a traditional "vacation".
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DESERTDOG View Post
Bring your wallet to the track...you'll need it. Race fuel $10-12/gal, brakes, and tires all go quickly. Otherwise it is the best time you can have with your Camaro...or any car.
Race fuel 2014 Z/28 question:

Does the engine management software immediately "see" the use of racing fuel when added, or does the engine management software remain set to the octane level of the car's first tank of fuel, unless some fuse is pulled to reset software/engine mapping?
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:13 PM   #7
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Things are going to break. Tires and pads will go in days. This is inevitable. Even the best track cars on the planet will eventually be towed back to the paddock.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:53 PM   #8
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Race fuel 2014 Z/28 question:

Does the engine management software immediately "see" the use of racing fuel when added, or does the engine management software remain set to the octane level of the car's first tank of fuel, unless some fuse is pulled to reset software/engine mapping?
That's an excellent question which in regards to the Z/28 I do not know the answer to. Maybe someone in the background who knows the facts will either post or IM me to reply?

Many modern cars do have this feature and change the spark advance maps in real time to the feedback from the knock sensors.

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Things are going to break. [edit out] Even the best track cars on the planet will eventually be towed back to the paddock.
As a broad generalization, and to add my original point about the issues other cars see, I'd agree with you. On the flip side, I've never had an on-track failure or mechanical that caused me to come in early. That is over 100+ track days. As much has to do with maintenance habits as with the basic robustness of the platform. And luck I suppose

Every indication so far- the pedigree of the engineering team, the nature of the upgrades, the marketing verbiage, leads me to believe and trust that the Z/28 should in fact be a reliable tracking tool, more so than the current best examples of off-the-showroom-floor cars.

Proof's in the pudding and let's see what reality is a year from now.

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Old 01-05-2014, 08:35 PM   #9
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Great write up and thanks for the info.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:41 PM   #10
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I went to Pitt Race (www.pittrace.com) formerly BeaveRun (better name if you ask me!) with my Z28. I live exactly 100 miles from there.
Hey there cdb, I live about 10 miles from old BeaverRun! I've never ran at the track but have been to a few car shows there.
I am number One at my dealer at MSRP, however one doesn't know for sure if or when they will get an allotment.... they believe they will get just one. If they get an allotment, I'll be getting it (even have the wife's blessings) and then I suppose I'll be looking for a track instructor at Pitt Race It'll be nice having a track in the backyard, especially if i get hooked on it.
I do plan on driving it on the street, not a daily driver, but a fun driver.
Gimme a shout here if you come back to my neck of the woods again.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:21 AM   #11
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I just hope more Z/28s end up in the hands of people that will actually track them, rather than in some ones collection sitting in a garage, getting driven 100 miles a year
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:20 AM   #12
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Some great points in this thread. I have raced with SCCA, on a limited basis years back, and have gotten to where I really just enjoy driving on-track with the right group of guys/gals. I don't have anything to prove to anyone, and I do NOT expect to be the next Andretti/Schumacher/Vettel. I just want to keep improving my skill set.

As a result I started researching HPDE groups and settled on Hooked On Driving. David Ray runs a great organization, and I've found they are quick to enforce the most important HPDE rule: locate and eradicate "That Guy". You know the one -- the one that thinks he's the best and fastest and who needs to prove it to everyone. You can see a video featuring "That Guy" by clicking HERE.

HOD is great about targeting these folks, talking to them, and either modifying their behavior or making it clear they're not welcome. Because of this policy I feel comfortable running with them, as there seem to be very few bozos at their events. The last thing you want at a track day is someone who's going to endanger other cars!

I've ordered a Z/28 because I want to increase my track days significantly. I was driving a C63 Black Series coupe, and loved it so much I realized I wanted to do a lot more with it. The C63-BS was a reach for me financially, but I bought it because it was absolutely overbuilt and bullet-proof for track use. Once I realized that tripling my track days would subject me to the European Car Dealer Tax (when it came to parts and service), I sold the C63. I was getting ready to build out a Camaro or Mustang as a street-drivable track-day car, but getting frustrated at the expense of getting exactly what I wanted.

When Chevy announced the Z/28, it seemed like the perfect expression of everything I wanted in a track-day car (outside of curb weight). A total beast with very high limits and a wicked V-8 sound that can be flogged all day -- without worrying about overheated brakes, transmission, engine, or rear end. An absolute monster that should be a total joy on track; I can't wait to get mine and hope to run at least two-dozen track days in 2014.

Let's pray that many of the people who buy these cars will run them as Al Openheiser intended, as I really hope to see other Z/28s out on track! I'll be running mostly at Laguna Seca, Sears Point, and Thunderhill in the SF Bay Area.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:24 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mikebrinda View Post
Race fuel 2014 Z/28 question:

Does the engine management software immediately "see" the use of racing fuel when added, or does the engine management software remain set to the octane level of the car's first tank of fuel, unless some fuse is pulled to reset software/engine mapping?
I wondered this when I was tracking a C63 AMG. At Sears Point I added unleaded 100-octane racing fuel to my existing tank, which gave me something around 97 octane overall. i could NOT believe the difference; it was NOT subtle!

I have to assume that most modern performance cars will make always adjust the performance parameters just below the point where spark knocking might occur, whether you're running cheap gas or race fuel. I'm hoping the Z/28 does the same...
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:45 PM   #14
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Hey there cdb, I live about 10 miles from old BeaverRun! I've never ran at the track but have been to a few car shows there.
I am number One at my dealer at MSRP, however one doesn't know for sure if or when they will get an allotment.... they believe they will get just one. If they get an allotment, I'll be getting it (even have the wife's blessings) and then I suppose I'll be looking for a track instructor at Pitt Race It'll be nice having a track in the backyard, especially if i get hooked on it.
I do plan on driving it on the street, not a daily driver, but a fun driver.
Gimme a shout here if you come back to my neck of the woods again.
Hey, good luck on the Z28! Take lots of pics for us when you get it, some of us will have to live vicariously thru you guys who do get one. You will love the Beav'! Turn 5 was always my favorite. And you can get your feet wet with their TrackCross events. If I get back to BeaveRun, I'll shoot you a PM. Hell, I might just come out to see the Z28
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:45 AM   #15
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Some great points in this thread. I have raced with SCCA, on a limited basis years back, and have gotten to where I really just enjoy driving on-track with the right group of guys/gals. I don't have anything to prove to anyone, and I do NOT expect to be the next Andretti/Schumacher/Vettel. I just want to keep improving my skill set.

As a result I started researching HPDE groups and settled on Hooked On Driving. David Ray runs a great organization, and I've found they are quick to enforce the most important HPDE rule: locate and eradicate "That Guy". You know the one -- the one that thinks he's the best and fastest and who needs to prove it to everyone. You can see a video featuring "That Guy" by clicking HERE.

HOD is great about targeting these folks, talking to them, and either modifying their behavior or making it clear they're not welcome. Because of this policy I feel comfortable running with them, as there seem to be very few bozos at their events. The last thing you want at a track day is someone who's going to endanger other cars!

I've ordered a Z/28 because I want to increase my track days significantly. I was driving a C63 Black Series coupe, and loved it so much I realized I wanted to do a lot more with it. The C63-BS was a reach for me financially, but I bought it because it was absolutely overbuilt and bullet-proof for track use. Once I realized that tripling my track days would subject me to the European Car Dealer Tax (when it came to parts and service), I sold the C63. I was getting ready to build out a Camaro or Mustang as a street-drivable track-day car, but getting frustrated at the expense of getting exactly what I wanted.

When Chevy announced the Z/28, it seemed like the perfect expression of everything I wanted in a track-day car (outside of curb weight). A total beast with very high limits and a wicked V-8 sound that can be flogged all day -- without worrying about overheated brakes, transmission, engine, or rear end. An absolute monster that should be a total joy on track; I can't wait to get mine and hope to run at least two-dozen track days in 2014.

Let's pray that many of the people who buy these cars will run them as Al Openheiser intended, as I really hope to see other Z/28s out on track! I'll be running mostly at Laguna Seca, Sears Point, and Thunderhill in the SF Bay Area.
So many great points in your post! You could be the poster child (man) for HPDE and what it is all about. Your specific view on it is so common amongst participants. Sharing the experience as you've done really helps people to understand the opportunities open to them to drive on track. Great stuff!
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:40 AM   #16
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GREAT thread, all!


(...I'm glad some people get it.....):thum b:
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:44 AM   #17
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GREAT thread, all!


(...I'm glad some people get it.....):thum b:
There is the answer everyone's "including mine" question. It is designed for HPDE and not racing. That's cool , I can't justify the money but I am not knocking those who will. To each their own and if you do buy one , I am sure it will be one hell of a car. I can't wait to see one in the wild.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:56 AM   #18
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So many great points in your post! You could be the poster child (man) for HPDE and what it is all about. Your specific view on it is so common amongst participants. Sharing the experience as you've done really helps people to understand the opportunities open to them to drive on track. Great stuff!
Thanks! Coming from someone who owns my absolute dream car makes it mean even more! Hope to run into you on track sometime; it would be an honor to get passed by a BAC Mono...
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:10 PM   #19
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GREAT thread, all!

(...I'm glad some people get it.....):thum b:
To paraphrase the movie line, "If you build it, they will come!"...

Thanks for building the ultimate "drive to the track, enjoy the track-day, then drive it home" car! I can't wait to get mine and get it to Laguna Seca.

You guys are doing QC/pre-shipping break-in on these, right? Nothing worse than having to baby it for the first 1K miles, when all you want to do is unleash the hounds...
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:54 PM   #20
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Thanks! Coming from someone who owns my absolute dream car makes it mean even more! Hope to run into you on track sometime; it would be an honor to get passed by a BAC Mono...
You are cracking me up! Yes, we are bound to meet up somewhere. It's going to be a good year, I'm feeling it!

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You guys are doing QC/pre-shipping break-in on these, right? Nothing worse than having to baby it for the first 1K miles, when all you want to do is unleash the hounds...
Lol! That is really funny!
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:59 PM   #21
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Just like in drag racing there is no single way to go about track days that is all encompassing.
A lot of track rats will tow a vehicle to/from the track complete with spares. I'm pretty sure you could shred a set of those trofeo tires on the Z in one day. The you get to drive home on them, not fun.
Other guys will want to brag about being able to drive to the track, run laps and drive the car home.

I'm not sure people who have never been on a track understand just how big a difference tires make. Going from a set of street tires like the Pirellis on the SS to a set of Hoosier R6 will make a (insert favorite adjective here, I'll use ginormous) difference in track times.
Most track days I have seen are limited to 20 or 30 minute sessions. That's long enough to get brakes/tires/engines etc. plenty hot but not like an actual race. I've swapped brake pads between sessions before and these breaks give you a chance to evaluate the cars condition and swap tires and make adjustments.
For most of these type events a properly maintained and driven street car(assuming a properly chosen platform to begin with) will be plenty fast at a fraction of the cost. I'm not trying to dampen the spirits of Z/28 fans and the makers but at this price point for track days I'm just not feeling it.

I see the new Z/28 as an exercise in engineering. More along the lines of " Hey look what we can do". Its cool and its fast and it cost a lot.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:47 PM   #22
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Tracking the new Z28 will be an unbelievable experience, watching the 'Z' YouTube video of it on the Nurbergring makes you want to go our and order one....good luck to you who have the finical means to own one of these factory race cars, send in some GoPro videos of it on the track.
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:09 PM   #23
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anyone concerned about safety. A harness bar, 5 point harness and Hans device?
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:04 PM   #24
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anyone concerned about safety. A harness bar, 5 point harness and Hans device?
I will be looking to add those items to mine during the first season on-track. I am tempted to install a roll-cage, but the headroom will already be tight for me...
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:19 PM   #25
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This thing is the ultimate HPDE car, seriously. I have been doing them since I left college and am doing them with my 1LE but the Z/28 has everything you need to make a dependable track car that you can drive to the track, have a really good adrenalin pumping time and drive back home without worrying if you overheated the diff, trans or motor. I love my 1LE but I leave the track nervous with it since it is missing some of those critical "track components" I feel are necessary; drysump, diff cooler, upgraded engine/trans oil coolers and brakes you know will not fade no matter what you throw at them.

I hope I can get a used one one day that somebody bought to just show off on the streets with.
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I work for General Motors and am not an official spokes person for General Motors. My views and opinions are my own and not those of General Motors.
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