Ford Shelby GT350R Faster Around A Road Course Than Camaro Z/28

When it was finally announced that for the 2015 model year, the new, sixth-generation Ford Mustang had actually gained weight where the 2016 Camaro is set to lose some, we think it likely that Chevrolet’s engineering team allowed themselves a bit of smug, self-satisfaction.

But revenge is swift, and as Ford Motor Company told several members of the press just yesterday, the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang is actually a full second quicker around Michigan’s Grattan Raceway than the most venerable, track-capable Camaro to-date: the Z/28.

Grattan Raceway outside of Belding, Michigan is a tight, highly technical road course with plenty of abrupt elevation changes and nail-biting corners. Though the track is a mere 2.0 miles in length, it possesses plenty of the best, most challenging features of any road course in the US.

(Grattan Raceway Park also has a dirt Motocross track, on which Ford politely refused to drive even a single pre-production Shelby GT350R. What a waste.)

Also benchmarked: the Porsche 911 GT3. Run back-to-back against that threatening German thoroughbred beast, Ford claims that the Shelby GT350R achieved a time within just .01 seconds of it. That’s essentially nil.

Take With A Grain Of Salt…

Of course, Ford’s claims demand to be taken with a grain of salt. The automaker did test each of the three cars back-to-back on the same day, in the same conditions, with the same drivers. But importantly, those drivers were Ford’s own, who’d surely already spent plenty of time acclimating to the Shelby GT350R and its unique capabilities.

Even still, Ford isn’t one for over-inflating its own accomplishments. Maybe the results would have been slightly different in the hands of a few more objective drivers, but it’s a heck of a feat nonetheless.

Aaron Birch is an automotive enthusiast and writer/filmmaker from Detroit, MI. As a rule, he only buys cars older than himself.

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