With great steering and handling, the latest Corvette is a highly engaging road car. But aside from a few laps at GM’s Milford Road Course and the very short Streets of Willow Springs circuit in California, we hadn’t spent much time hustling a C7 around a track. Until this year’s LL Thrash-a-palooza, that is.

Turns out, not much time is needed to turn a lap. At 2:53.8, the basic C7 is a mere 0.3 second off the previous Z06 with the Z07 package (tires, brakes, and chassis upgrades from the ZR1) and just a little more than three seconds slower than the 638-hp 2012 ZR1. A non-Z07 Z06 ran a 2:58.2. Remember, this is a regular C7. The time it posted is usually the realm of cars costing two to three times its $65,665 price.

Stability and confidence? The Corvette hands ’em out like Halloween candy. Grip from the Pilot Super Sports had us double-checking to see if they were actually the more track-focused Pilot Sport Cup 2s. In many corners, such as Turn One, the C7 outstuck the ZR1. In the uphill esses, the new Vette beat the ZR1’s average speed. Engineers have seemingly hooked the Corvette into the earth with something other than Newtonian physics. No matter where you are on the track, off-curbing or off-camber, the car’s center of gravity feels buried deep in the earth’s crust.

Accelerating out of a corner, the Corvette remains bound to the track. Traction management and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential automatically dispense the right amount of power to the tire that can handle it, resulting in high exit speeds. Thanks to that e-diff, you can hit full throttle earlier and let the car do the math. It works. At the exit of sector four, the Chevy beat the Ferrari F12berlinetta by 1.4 mph.

Power is always available, and the car’s tall gearing is suited to VIR. The entertainment level was reaching tsunami height just when the Corvette suddenly died coming onto the front straight. Chevy suspects contaminated oil caused the engine failure that killed the car; it was no more, expired, a 0-hp Corvette. We were content with our lap time, but if Chevy wants to bring back a live one for another go, we wouldn’t say no.

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