Learning From Bondurant’s C6 School Car
A Chevrolet Corvette, tuned for the track and taking its inspiration from a Bondurant racing school automobile, is one of the most remarkable track-specials ever witnessed – and that has an impressive history attached to it.
John Marconi – the proprietor of this ‘Vette and one of the Corvettes utilized by the racing school – initially planned to utilize the last mentioned for circuit dashing. In any case, in view of the death of Bob Bondurant in 2021, Marconi resolved to store the vehicle as a token of admiration. As he still longed for a track vehicle, he imitated the school car assemble with an alternate 6th era Corvette yet with his own one of a kind stamp.
In contrast to the usually extreme Corvette drag car builds, this one is relatively benign and fitted with a 7.0-liter LS7 V8. Initially, it had a blower, but the previous proprietor did not tune it prudently, causing the connecting rod to break through the engine block. So Marconi reached out to Redline who managed to salvage whatever they could from the broken motor and reconstruct it.
Marconi reports that his Corvette LS7 is generating approximately 656 horsepower at the crankshaft, deeming it as about 575 horsepower at the wheels. Despite track noise regulations, the exhaust system of the Corvette is still intact and just the catalytic converters have been eliminated.
The Corvette has a partially-stripped interior to facilitate weight reduction. Nevertheless, the safety-mandated roll cage and fire extinguisher negate any advantage in this regard.
When it comes to dealing with its maneuvering, the wheels and tires of the Corvette have undergone an enormous transformation from their original, factory condition. Though the automobile initially had a staggered set up consisting of 19 inch models on the front and 20 inch ones in the back, Marconi has now decreased the size down to 18 inches for both. Consequently, tyres with larger sidewalls can now be affixed; in particular, 18×11 on the front and 18×13 at the rear.
The configuration was also decided upon so the ZR1 brakes with six pistons would fit properly, providing the auto with dramatic enhanced halting force. The auto’s ABS and traction control facilities have been toned down, as Marconi has claimed that there exists only about 7-10% ABS hindrance. Regardless, the brakes have been set up in such a way that it allows for pressing them hard at high speed without locking up.
A coilover suspension provides damping thanks to the addition of better sway bars. The front is fitted with a two-inch hollow bar whereas the back consists of a more robust one-and-a-quarter inch solid sway bar. Additionally, the springs have been upgraded to 600 lb springs at the front and 550 lbs at the rear.
Besides this, the track car is fitted with a racing suspension akin to that from the Bondurant Z06 school vehicle. Additionally, it possesses a factory-standard T-56 6-speed manual transmission with a modified shifter.
The Corvette is equipped with a spectacular aerodynamic package featuring carbon side skirts, along with a carbon lip and incorporated 3D-printed canards. For improved aerodynamics, an extra-long 72-inch wing has been placed further to the rear.
The automobile can hit a top speed of 212 km/h without the aerodynamics package, however it’s limited to only 175-180 km/h if equipped. Although max velocity decreases, the levels of grip performance are tremendously enhanced – precisely what is essential for competing on the racetrack.