Horsepower bites, and when it bites, it bites hard. This is the lesson Mark Reuss, head of product development for General Motors learned today while piloting the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 around the streets of Belle Isle in Detroit. Reuss had an entire field of IndyCar drivers waiting for him to kick off the second race of this weekend's Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix when he hit the wall and went into a spin.
It all started when Reuss, who has paced the Detroit GP numerous times, began the warmup lap after torrential rains slammed most of Detroit earlier this morning. As a result, a track that is notorious for its slippery surfaces and violent bumps was washed away of whatever rubber it had gained from the two previous days of racing. Not so bad for professional daredevils, but pretty challenging stuff for a company executive turned racing aficionado.
As this video shows, Reuss was minding his own business, enjoying the lovely exhaust note of the ZR1, when a combination of a slight bump and a crest at the exit of turn two upset the 'Vette and induced some serious oversteer.
After sitting at turns one and two all weekend long at Belle Isle, I can attest that the bumps are wild enough to push the best of suspensions to their maximum. In a nutshell, Reuss didn't stand a chance.
With 755 horsepower, the 2019 ZR1 is the fastest Corvette ever produced by the folks at Bowling Green. Even with its massive rear wing and intercut bodywork, this goes to show that no amount of downforce and no computerized nannies can save you from the laws of physics.
Too much power plus little grip, plus non-professional driver, equals an embarrassing moment on T.V.
Update: Reuss is in good health did not suffer any injuries, but the airbags deployed due to the sheer force of the impact. IndyCar veteran Oriol Servia will get behind the wheel of a backup ZR1 for the remainder of the race.