The owner of Stile Bertone’s first – and so far only – Mantide is contemplating a full-blooded assault on the 7:26.4 Nurburgring lap-time set by the Corvette ZR1 on which his very special car is based.
‘It has been a dream of mine from the outset of this project,’ Jason told PH on the phone from Italy this morning. ‘The logistics are not easy, as we’ll need to hire a professional driver – somebody who’s truly a Nurburgring expert like Stefan Roser – and then get the circuit closed for a few days.’
‘It would have to be a decent effort, because it will take a few days for optimising tyres and the suspension, but in theory if you make something lighter and more dynamic it should go better!’
‘First of all we designed the flying buttresses to accelerate vortices of air across the rear deck, generating downforce without additional drag,’ says Jason.
‘One of the biggest factors causing drag is the wheels and tyres, particularly a car like the ZR1 which runs big 285 section tyres at the front. So the Mantide’s nose and the vents behind the front arches have been designed to move air around the wheels as freely as possible.’
According to the designer, the result of this aero work is a cd factor of just .298. Coupled to a weight saving of 80kgs, and with the Corvette ZR1’s 638bhp supercharged V8 powertrain, the prospects of a quick ‘ring lap seem high.
But first the car has to get there. ‘To be honest it was my dream from the outset of the Mantide project, and although we started talking about it with the owner in a joking way, it’s starting to get a bit more real,’ Jason tells us. ‘I’d say the chances that we’ll do it are currently around 50%, but those odds could change for the better very quickly.’