I went to Dream Racing at the Las Vegas Motorplex to try out the new C8 Corvette. I have been interested in the C8 since they announced it would finally be a proper mid-engine car. I drive a Porsche Cayman S which is also mid-engine and it is the best layout for a sports car in my opinion. I like the looks of the C8 Corvette as well.
The experience starts with a short video to set expectations and orient you to the track and performance driving. That is followed by a ride around the track in an SUV. One thing unique about Dream Racing versus Exotics Racing or Speed Vegas was you don't wear helmets in the street cars. Helmets are only required in their race cars.
Seated in the car I adjusted the seat and wheel to my liking. I am not a big fan of the large center console but it did not bother me as much while driving either. I could get used to it. The feel behind the wheel was centered and good. As we pulled onto the track and gave it full throttle and the traction control kicked in for a bit. The traction control intervenes a bit more than I would like but still better than many other sports cars. It's hard to beat Porsche traction control on the track. I only bought 7 laps and that is not even enough to really get consistent with the line as you can see in the video, I am a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The engine makes 200HP more than my Cayman S and that was very nice. It also has a wide powerband but drops off earlier than what I am used to in the Cayman S. It took a bit to learn to shift earlier. The sound is very different than the Porsche but it is a good sound. That comes through pretty well on the video. The transmission was also very good. The handling is also good and pretty neutral. I did not understeer like the Ferrari 488 did.
My biggest complaints with this car is the brakes. Dream Racing even upgraded to some slotted rotors but they were a bit warped when I started, and very warped by the end of my session. The chassis could easily handle a serious brake upgrade and if I was going to track one of these, a brake upgrade would be a must. I suspect the Z06 will have solved this issue.
The car is clearly heavier than my Cayman S, by about 650lbs. You can really feel it too. The center of gravity is also noticeably higher. The chassis gets more upset when switching directions than the Cayman S. The car feels like it is sitting higher, based on the handling. I felt like I could not push it as hard in the corners. Dream Racing uses Pirelli P Zero tires and maybe they are not as good as the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires I have on the Cayman S. The feedback was good and with some more seat time on the track I could work around this. It was certainly a fun drive.
The C8 Corvette is a great car and Chevy has done a great thing here delivering a car like this at the price point they are asking. Most owners will likely never track this car hard and they will be very happy with their purchase. Those who do want to track it should consider a brake upgrade first, or consider the Z06. If Dream Racing or Speed Vegas get a Z06 I may just have to try that.
So far the cars I have tried at these track venues are the Ferrari 488, the Porsche GT3 RS, and this Chevy Corvette. The GT3 RS was the best track car. The next car I want to try at the track is the Porsche GT2 RS.
I have now driven 3 different venues as well. Speed Vegas has been purchased by Exotics Racing so now that is at the Speed Vegas facility south of town. I drove Exotics Racing back when it was at the west edge of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway area north of town. Dream Racing is in the center of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway oval track.