Insane Race : Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 VS U.S. Navy Fighter Jet

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ZR1 Vette vs Jet! - Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Races A U.S. Navy Fighter Jet

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MT Editor at Large Arthur St. Antoine pits Chevy's awesome "Blue Devil" -- the Corvette ZR1 -- against its toughest adversary yet: a Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet.

Blue Devil vs. Blue Angel
We Race a Corvette ZR1 Against a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet Because...We'd Already Made all the Ferraris Turn Red
July, 2009 |
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For once, even 638 horsepower might not be enough. As I slot the ZR1's six-speed shifter into first and tilt my gaze toward the flag girl, for reassurance I give the throttle a quick stab with my heel. The supercharged V-8 responds with a shock wave that momentarily warps my vision and clouts my stomach like a 7.2 on the Richter scale. Maybe I have a chance.
The finish line lies one mile in the distance, somewhere beyond the heat waves; after reaching it, I'll be at very high speed and won't have a lot of tarmac left to stop. Concentrate, Arthur.
Above the background throb of the engine I can hear myself breathing into my helmet, the sound muffled by my Nomex balaclava. A bead of sweat slaloms down my neck. What's taking so long? I turn my head further to my right.
The F/A-18S used by the Blue Angels have their nose cannons removed, inverted fuel pumps and a smoke-oil tank installed, and a special high-effort spring in the flight-control stick (for more precise control). If necessary, each aircraft can be readied for combat duty in just 72 hours.
Maybe I shouldn't have looked. I can see four wheels and a driver, true, but there all familiarity ends. Because aligned with my Corvette on a parallel runway stands Blue Angel 7, an immaculate, blue-and-gold U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter jet; a $25 million ice pick with razor-blade airfoils and 32,000 pounds of afterburner-fed thrust just waiting to flash-fry me and my ZR1 like a hapless bluefish.
A flurry of motion outside my windshield; the nearby navy personnel are signaling that all is ready. My muscles tense as my heart rate goes triple-digit and once again I turn my attentions to the flag girl between us. She nods at our respective thumbs-up, then raises the flag above her head. My right foot inches down on the gas; the revs climb to 3000 rpm. This race has been months in the making, countless emails and phone calls and planning sessions and signed official forms, but right now all I'm thinking is, "Arthur, don't you dare stall this f-"
The start flag drops.


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