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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm noticing that many manufacturers, including US companies are building cars designed for the circuit. Examples include; the 2015 Camero Z28, the new Corvette Z06, the new Shelby GT350, the soon to be Ford Fiesta RS. Most of the write ups are about track times, and track aero, and track focused suspensions. Chevy now sponsors Ron Fellows Corvette track school at the new Spring Mountain track outside of Las Vegas. And, Porsche too is building Experience centers in LA and Atlanta in addition to the Porsche Driving School at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham.

What do you all think of these other companies becoming track-focused and building performance cars designed to go fast around a circuit, instead of in a straight line?
 

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I think it's great. More choices and competition drives improvements. I wouldn't say it's a dramatic shift though. We've had prior generations of Z06s, Boss 302s/GTs/Shelbys, and Vipers. The Z28 is new though. For Porsche the GT3RS will be coming ...eventually.
 

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Yes as zedcat says, it can only be for the better and gives some classic examples. In the UK we've had stuff like Lotus Cortina's, Sierra Cosworth's and Escort RS's, to mention but a few. They were all improvements over stock and made for much better all round vehicles.
 

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Track times are the best way to gauge progress for a manufacturer, or even for comparison purposes against its own other models or other brands for marketing purposes. Fastest way to show potential customers, "Look, this car is the latest and greatest, as you can see from these benchmark tests."
 

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What do you all think of these other companies becoming track-focused and building performance cars designed to go fast around a circuit, instead of in a straight line?
When did this ever go away? While America has always focused on Indy, NASCAR, and dragstrips, from the Mid 60s SCCA A Sedan transformed into Trans-AM which always been about road course. There were Z28s and Shelby Mustangs along with famous race car drivers like Sam Posey and Mark Donoghue. So, really, its old news, and now that a HP race is back on, maybe they just refocused efforts?

The more things change, the more they stay the same?
 

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Lately in Europe it's all about the Nurburgring time, especially in the hot hatch class. My old car, a Renault 265 Cup lapped it in just over 8 minutes with just 265bhp, the Cayman R is only 4 or 5 seconds quicker
 

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I think we've reached the pinacle for straight line performance, to the point where it would be unsafe for manufacturers to launch cars that go much faster in a straight line. i think the track focused development is just the next stage in car performance, later it will be efficiency and downforce that will get more and more serious.
 

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... Chevy now sponsors Ron Fellows Corvette track school at the new Spring Mountain track outside of Las Vegas...
You wrote that as if Chevy's knowledge of the track at Spring Mountain is seconds old and that the track was born last night.

To set the record straight, the track at Spring Mountain has been around for ~15-years and Chevy was a sponsor before it was Spring Mountain Advanced Driving School. Back in the day it was Bragg-Smith Advanced driving school and Chevy was providing C5s and Cameros. The VHS video tape that came with a new Z06 described how to set up the car for track days and, at the end, featured an ad for Bragg-Smith.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Worf, thanks for the clarification. What I found interesting (but may not be new) is that every Z06 comes with some track school built into the price. Perhaps, Chevy has been doing that for a while, but was news to me that they made such a commitment. Specifically, the school charges new Z06 owners $1,000 for their 2 day school where the normal price (for Z06 specific training) is about $3,900.

Again, I'm finding this track specific marketing and track specific support for street cars built by manufactures other than Porsche to be a very interesting growing trend.
 

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yes, its a bit OTT now with SUVs and other cars also being tested in Nuburgring, etc.
however for some like Porsche, they've been doing it for years to benchmark newer models - Walter Rohrl is usually let loose to set a benchmark for others.

+1 zinger
+1 payne
 
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