When Motor Trend stuck the Porsche 911 GT3 and Camaro Z/28 in the ring together, the Porsche walked away the clear winner, lapping Willow Springs 2 and a half seconds faster than the Camaro. It was no surprise that the Chevy lost, considering the GT3 is a six-figure rear-engine track car from one of the most capable and precise manufacturers around, but MT still felt as though the Z/28 had left something on the table.
Randy Pobst, MT’s resident racing driver, said the Z/28 was a little unstable at the back end and didn’t feel as planted as other Z/28s when he tested it alongside the GT3. The Z/28 in question is the magazine’s long term car, which was ordered without the wicker bill attachment for the rear spoiler. When they took the Z/28 back to Willow Springs, they had the $395 wicker piece attached and found it helped shave an incredible 1.32 seconds off its original time.
“It’s funny – it (the Z/28) was loose and sucky last time,” Pobst explained. “Now, it’s so hooked up. It’s back to the car we chose for Best Driver’s Car. It is so well-balanced and hooked up. It’s predictable. What a pleasure to drive. I could just attack Turn 8, I was in the power way in there, forget about the brakes. It just felt so fast. It handles so well. The grip is so high. It’s the car we love again. Last time, it was loose. It wouldn’t put power down. It was just kind of nervous. This time, it was just so fantastic in every way.”
The wicker bill wasn’t enough for the Z/28 to dethrone the GT3, as the Porsche was still 1.18 seconds faster around Willow Springs, but it’s impressive that a car riding on the chassis from a large Australian sedan is now within almost one second of a track-ready Porsche. There’s a reason why it was Motor Trend’s Best Driver’s Car, just make sure you have that wicker bill attached.