Fastest ‘Vette In The World – The WEAPON-X 2019 zr1 Corvette
When we heard that WEAPON-X Motorsports was taking their brand new 2019 ZR1 Corvette out to the drag strip we had to stop by. President Ben Herndon’s goal for the day? To become the first of this coming year’s ZR1s to break the 10-second quarter mile barrier.
While that may not seem blazingly fast, no tuner shop has truly cracked the ECU on the ZR1, at least not at the time of this writing. In private talks with GM engineers, Ben says they claim that due to the 2019 ZR1 being a 4G LTE car, it could, in theory, be hacked over the air. To ensure this isn’t possible, they’ve locked everything down and Chevy claims that the new computer on the car will not be tunable and will not be cracked. Only time will tell….
However, WEAPON-X Motorsports has devised a workaround to the issue with a number of tuning tricks. We can’t share the details of what they’re doing, but by using certain sensors and overriding a variety of values which are fed into the ECU, WEAPON-X has gotten the brand-spanking new LT5 motor to free up some ponies.
At the end of the day, Ben pulled off the factory carbon fiber cover so we could get a real look at the motor. But more interesting than the naked LT5 is what actually happened at the drag strip.
Due to our jam-packed schedule in Ohio we’d planned to head out to Kil-Kare Raceway outside of Dayton, Ohio, to catch the last passes of the day. But unfortunately, apparently because of a low number of cars showing for the test and tune, the strip was closing an hour early.
Ben had only put in two runs by this point, with a best of 10.17 at 138 mph. This pass was, at press time, good for the title of fastest 2019 ZR1 in the world.
But still Ben’s been able to shave near half a second off the best times out of the factory. But he hadn’t broken into the 9s the day of the test and you can bet he wanted to. After a quick chat with the staff after we showed up, they allowed us one more pass down the strip.
On the record-setting pass the car had a relatively slow 60-foot time so we were confident as Ben warmed up the tires and rolled up to the line as the sun dipped down on the horizon. It was all down to this run and the WEAPON-X Motorsports ZR1 was right on the cusp.
The Christmas tree went green and Ben launched down the 1320. Not a super clean start this time around and as the ZR1 howled into the distance, we wondered if this would be the one.
Sadly, it just wasn’t enough. 10.74 at 134mph. A bit of a disappointing final run, but a lot of valuable data was recorded at the strip.
Looking over some of the data with Ben after the pass, he pointed out that some interesting and immediately unexplainable things were going on. The throttle was intermittently cutting out, for one, and power wasn’t peaking where it had on the earlier runs. Perhaps this was due to changing atmospheric conditions.
On a car like this where the margins are so slim, and where there’s no real aftermarket support as of yet, every little bit makes a difference. Noticing lightweight Forgeline wheels around the car, it’s clear that Ben is looking for anything to give the car an edge.
On the way out we stopped by a gas station for a top off, and that’s the beauty of this car. You can drive to the track, fill it up at the pump, and lay down a ten second quarter mile.
Development for this car will be rapid as more shops get their hands on them, and lots of people are going to be trying to crack the computer and tweaking things as they can. Next time Ben hits the track, we’re sure he’ll find his way into the 9s.