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Track test Chevrolet Camaro GT3 vs. Series: V8 earthquake rocks the ring

Rossen Gargolov
Track test Chevrolet Camaro GT3 vs. Series
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H today everything is different: if you listen carefully, you can hear the cowbells ringing in the neighboring pastures, white sausages and pretzels are on the plate, fitness drinks play a minor role in the refrigerator behind us, wheat beer rules here. No, we don't stop for our first snack on the march on the Zugspitze, we lounge in box 31 on plastic chairs at the Salzburgring and wait for a very special track test.

9:05 a.m., gate open, cattle drive for the stoutest bull in the herd: 7.9 liter displacement, something over 630 hp and 800 Newton meters of maximum torque. V8 fire free! Bluish flames beat out of the sidepipes, the beat of which would make even the headbangers at Rock am Ring jealous. Rocking at the ring is the keyword now. Not a dragster, but the Chevrolet Camaro GT3 from Sareni United is chasing today on the 4.23 kilometer long track at the gates of Mozart's city.

The LS3-V8 block in the series Camaro comes from the Corvette

Even if it tingles in the right foot, the US beast turns its own without us Test rounds. No problem, on the four-hour drive to the Salzburgring we were already able to appreciate the V8 infusion of the road legal Chevrolet Camaro Coupé available in Germany. The LS3 V8 block with a displacement of 6.2 liters comes from the recently discontinued Corvette C6, but thanks to other engine peripherals in the series Camaro it delivers 432 hp instead of 437 in the Corvette.

In addition to the pounding V8 Bass transfers a bony six-speed manual gearbox and historical-looking analog instruments the flair of the pony car generation of the sixties back into the present. Coolness and independent character that one misses in some volume models today.

In the Camaro GT3, the engine is lower and further back

'Compared to the road car, the engine of the Chevrolet Camaro GT3 is 120 millimeters lower and is 74 millimeters further back in the chassis than the original,' says Franz Russegger, who is responsible for the development of the Chevrolet Camaro at Sareni United. A few seconds ago the GT3 bomber hissed back into the pit lane, only to be pushed back into the pit after a final thrust of gas.

Then mechanics snatch them from the racing CamaroCarbon bonnet and allow glimpses of the displacement giant. The V8 small block, which weighs only 185 kilos, was built by the US engine manufacturer Katech with Mahle forged pistons, milled steel connecting rods with H-profile and CNC milled crankshaft. Specifications to the engine builder: series production, low costs, 10,000 kilometers of mileage with high power.

GT3 Camaro weighs 450 kilograms less than the road car

Cost capping was an important point in the development. At 195,000 euros plus VAT, the Chevrolet Camaro is the bargain on the GT3 scene. Other GT3 cars now cost almost twice as much. But cheap does not mean cheap. Anyone who thinks the Chevrolet Camaro and its medieval technology à la Mustang rigid axle is going over the curbs is wrong. The racing chassis with Öhlins dampers articulated via Pushrods uses axle components from another GT3 bull. “The double wishbones at the front and rear come from the GT3 Lamborghini Gallardo,” explains the developer.

A brief technical check shows that the racing machine and street version are two except for the exterior mirrors, the roof, the side panels and the front end are very different pairs of shoes. Compared to the GT3 device, the 108 mm higher series counterpart looks like a moving skyscraper. The raw chassis lightened the Sareni troops by 20 percent and welded in a safety cage. In addition, new subframes, a front apron and fenders made of impact-resistant plastic as well as an aero package with carbon splinters, diveplates and rear diffuser are used. The fasting cure is having an effect. The GT3 racing car weighs around 450 kilograms less than the road car.

You sit as high as in a Renault Magnum

Enough of the technical analysis, the space on the V8 fire chair is just becoming free again, test pilot and racing professional Peter Kox peels out of the Sparco full bucket seat and whispers his first impression to us: “You are sitting as high as whether you're driving a Renault Magnum. ”

He's right. Compared to other GT3 racing cars, the seating position is almost comfortable and allows a good overview. Comfortable? Excuse me, GT3 driving for the rollator customers of the driver field? Aside from the slightly higher seating position, the Sareni Chevrolet Camaro is the lumberjack's shirt among GT3 vehicles.

Press the start button, sidepipes in wait: Woooooooaaaaaamm, the V8 primal scream warms the mind, like the first wheat beer -Sip at nine this morning. Little joke, of course there was no high-proof for us before the track test. Instead of high-proof, high-octane now runs. Whether in rough idling or at full load - the V8 hammering of the Chevrolet Camaro GT3 sounds like a mixture of monster Harley and World War II radial engine. Even at idle, the displacement monster apparently has more torque than other GT3 flounders at full speedPerformance.

Torque orgy culminates in over 800 Newton meters

At 2,000 tours there is already over 600 Nm. The wave of torque pushes the Camaro as powerfully as a Hawaiian surfer who has just caught the 30-meter wave of his life. The torque orgy culminates between 4,000 and 6,000 tours in over 800 Newton meters.

Click, click, click, the sequential Holinger racing transmission with electro-pneumatic actuation via paddles behind the steering wheel crimps the gears quickly and painlessly. Mirrors, body, everything trembles with increasing engine speed and speed like an earthquake. Epicenter: start-finish Salzburgring. The V8 block, which is rigidly screwed to the frame as a load-bearing element, transmits all vibrations to man and machine. At full load, the buzzing of the transmission gains the upper hand over the V8 hammering acoustically.

Rough, irrepressible, powerful - only acoustics, propulsion and vibrations meet these characteristics. The driving behavior of the Chevrolet Camaro creates confidence - after a few seconds you know what to expect. Into the Nockstein bend of the Salzburgring. Compared to the somewhat clumsy street model with comfortable side inclination, everything in the lightweight Camaro feels like twice the speed of sound, but the steam hammer with tenfold adjustable traction control remains good-naturedly manageable. Under load, the Chevrolet Camaro GT3 understeers slightly, at least in the chassis configuration during the test.

Top speed maximum 278 km /h

Compared to other GT3 cars, the Camaro relies less on downforce than on top speed (downforce front /rear at 200 km /h: 40 kg /250 kg). 'We have the highest top speed of all', Sareni engineer Franz Russegger had said in advance. Believable, because at 271.2 km /h the steam express gallops into the rev limiter in sixth gear on the back straight of the Salzburgring. “There are still a few more turns,” the race engineer later knows. Makes a maximum of 278 km /h.

Not bad for the GT3 racing truck with the face of a garage door. But “not bad” is not good enough for the Sareni boys. 'We are working on an extensive update for the 2013 season,' says Franz Russegger when the Chevrolet Camaro GT3 crackles in the pits again. In addition to the chassis kinematics and the brakes, the development team also revised the aerodynamics package.

The Chevrolet Camaro GT3 is the porn star among the supermodels

But it doesn't matter whether the Chevrolet Camaro GT3 romps around in the back field like 2012 or maybe this year will mix with the GT3 field, the conclusion has long been clear. And that falls to someone who, with a big smile on his face, prefers not to be named after all: “Theother GT3 cars are all supermodels. The Camaro, on the other hand, is the porn star among the supermodels. “

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