Originally Posted by 414bhp
I am inclined to believe that MotorTrend does these Laguna Seca tests using completely stock cars, including stock tires and brakes. Why? Well, if they were upgrading the brakes with track pads and fluids they would not be reporting brake fade in less than 1 lap for the 1M!
MotorTrend on the 1M: "Still, the brakes faded every time you really got on it. Especially on the track, where the stoppers felt good for less than a lap. This is surprising considering they're the same discs as on the M3, but we think we had to use them more frequently because of the car's unsorted behavior. Randy found that getting on the middle pedal in a hurry would exacerbate the 1M's constant understeering. Moreover, the brakes warped badly during our canyon run, the only car here to fail in any way."
Also, I know they made a big to-do over the Corvette's factory optional race-spec tires when the Corvette was the fastest around Laguna Seca. Thus, I think they test with the tires that arrive on the car.
I am impressed though that the MotorTrend pro-driver sets his lap times with minimal seat time (maybe 30 minutes/10 laps?) in cars he has never driven before. In my personal car -- a 2006 Evo IX MR with just DTC60 pads and stock diameter R-S3 tires -- it took me six HPDE days at Laguna Seca before I matched the MotorTrend pro time of 1:47.9. http://youtu.be/vgAIInPmlzQ
And you can go deeper still. The R-S3s are good for a couple of seconds over even some of the best stock tires and the pads are perhaps worth a second or more at a track like Laguna Seca.
And though Pobst and Angelelli are big-time pros, I think experienced time trialers like Billy Johnson could probably take it even deeper.
One thing I've learned over the years...there is always someone faster. Even when we think we've reached the limits of our cars, someone else has found a way to extend that limit...usually by rotating the car faster and getting on the gas earlier.