Well, ladies and gentlemen, if you ever needed proof that a driver can win or lose a race, even a straight-line drag race, we have incontrovertible video evidence of proof.
Chevrolet’s ZL1 Camaro is the pinnacle of the model’s five generations of existence, cranking out some 650 horsepower and blistering the Nurburgring with a lap that rivaled that of cars more than double it’s price. While the focus was on the cars handling, it’s no slouch on the drag strip, although it’s stiff suspension isn’t the best for planting the rear tires.
Cadillac’s CTS-V is also one of the most powerful cars in the GM lineup, with 640 horsepower on tap. However, built as a sedan with all the creature comforts we have come to expect from a Caddy, the car weighs quite a bit more than the Camaro, putting it at a distinct advantage in a race, especially from a dig. It’s hard to get all of that mass rolling, especially on regular radial tires.
So on paper, the Camaro having a few more ponies and few less pounds should be the favorite, but we don’t race on paper. The first indicator that the drive might be a little green came when he “rolled the beams”, passing the starting line and having to back up and stage again, a little more carefully.
As soon as the tree came down, the CTS-V ripped off the line, jumping out to a big lead. The leaner, more powerful ZL1 was slower to react, but had the advantage of lighter weight and more power, so it was all a matter of making up the lost ground. However, as they streaked through the quarter mile, the win light came on in the Caddy’s lane despite his ET being a third of a second slower and his speed being almost 8 MPH lower. That’s when your driver is earning his pay, using his reaction time to take the win against a quicker opponent.