Race on Sunday, sell on Monday used to be the mantra that drove manufacturer involvement in motorsports. To a large degree, it still applies, but the relevance of the stickered-up, 1960s-technology NASCAR vehicles to the average Camry or Fusion buyer is minimal, at best. The same largely goes for the tube-frame, highly modified cars used in many road racing series. But GT cars are, by definition, more closely related to production cars, and the Corvette Racing effort is tied tightly to its retail side, with the 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Edition a good example of the flow of tech from track to street.

Like the ZR1, the Z06 Carbon Edition gets a lot of carbon fiber body panels (hood, rockers, front splitter) which cut weight and in the case of the splitter, actually help reduce lift as well. Carbon-ceramic brakes, also used on the ZR1 and found on the Carbon Edition, combined with Michelin tires--the same brand as the race car's tires--provide huge stopping power with excellent fade resistance, and lateral grip.

The rear spoiler found on the production cars is also used on the race car, and even the interior gets race-trim components, including the steering wheel and seat covering. All of these equipment decisions were made with influence from the racing program, since starting with a great street car makes it easier to succeed in racing when you're basing the track car on the homologated street car.

[Corvette Racing]