Well, that didn’t last long. At the end of January, Ford brought its new GT to Virginia International Raceway. And while the company said it wasn’t trying to set any records when race driver Billy Johnson ran some hot laps, set a record he did. With Johnson at the helm, the Blue Oval’s Le Mans-winning halo car lapped the storied circuit in a blistering 2:38.62 , which bested the previous fastest time—set by the Dodge Viper ACR—by 1.5 seconds. For those unfamiliar with the crucible of motorsport? That’s an eternity. Unfortunately for Ford, arch-rival Chevrolet thought its ferocious new Corvette ZR1 could do better, and it did, slicing more than a second off the GT’s already impressive time.
That’s big news, and it’s impressive for a few reasons. Most notably, the Corvette starts at around $120k, and if you can come up with the cash, you’ll soon be able to buy one at your local AutoNation Chevy dealer. In comparison, the Ford GT costs a whopping 400k, and if you’re a mere mortal, you can forget about getting your hands on one for the foreseeable future. Because Ford hand selected the initial buyers after making them fill out an exhaustive application, and even famously sued professional wrestler John Cena after he sold his example before the company’s minimum 24-month ownership period expired.
Another impressive fact? The man behind the wheel of the Corvette was not a professional race driver, but rather Jim Mero, a Ride and Handling Engineer at Chevrolet. So it makes sense that a full-time hot shoe like say, Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin or Jordan Taylor could lay down an even faster time with GM’s 755-horsepower monster. At this point, we can’t help but think about how quick the new mid-engine Corvette will be. Because we can’t believe that the General’s long-awaited supercar will be slower than the ZR1… Watch the video below to experience the record-setting lap from the cockpit.