Buttonwillow Raceway Park
Location: Bakersfield California
Length (configuration 24): 1.6 miles
Lap Time: 65.18 seconds
Average Speed: 88.73 mph
Top Speed: 138.36 mph
Our Road Test Editor, Robin Warner, took the brand new 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 to Buttonwillow in California to see if Chevy's new track-oriented, muscle-bound coupe had the moves to back up its spec sheet. This is his brief report.
Long straightaway, flat terrain. makes you think you're Barry Newman in Vanishing Point. Running from the law through the desert, damn the consequences. The speeds you hit fit the bill. 140 mph! That's rarified territory for a street-legal machine. Buttonwillow is a bumpy place, yet the DSSV shocks work well to keep the tires planted. When I was there, so was a team with a race-prepped Ferrari Challenge car. They weren't sure they'd be able to keep up.
- Fast Sweeper: fourth gear, white palms. Minimum speed 93 mph, Average grip level 1.2 g. Mega pucker factor here. But getting this right meant epic top speeds.
- Top Speed: 138 mph. The car moved around a lot on the bumpy straight, but never unsettling. And holy hell, it was fast.
- Max Braking: Just a few feet later, I hit 1.6 g on the brakes. And I sustained 1.3 g all the way down to the sweeper turn-in—in a Camaro. Wow. Just wow.
- Accelerating Esses: Foot flat until the end, managed to just breathe the throttle hitting 95 mph and 1.3 lateral g. Stable all the way.
- Max Lateral Grip: tops at 1.5 g. Basic tight right-hander, not basic grip. I shouldn't be able to maintain 56 mph.
Robin also took the car to Barber Motorsports Park, so read his report on how the car did at that track, too.