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Pickup Trucks: 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Makes Its Racing Debut

We are big fans of the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, so we were excited to hear it made its racing debut at the Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno race Aug. 16-19.

Driven by Chad Hall and Frank DeAngelo of Hall Racing, the ZR2 competed in Class 7300, which encompassed stock production mid-size pickups and SUVs. The 540-mile race traversed deserts, dry lake beds and mountain passes that climbed as high as 8,000 feet.

The stock ZR2 was modified by Hall Racing to incorporate sanctioned safety items such as a roll cage, a 44-gallon racing fuel tank and racing seats with safety harnesses. The ZR2 also sported KC HiLites racing lights, a GPS system and two-way radios.

The truck kept the stock ZR2's 3.6-liter V-6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission; its Multimatic Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve damper technology and springs were slightly modified for the race.

The ZR2 was the only entrant in Class 7300, so it won its division, finishing the endurance race in 18 hours, 50 minutes and averaging 28.6 mph. Only 204 of the 336 teams that started the race crossed the finish line. The ZR2 team suffered some setbacks during the race due to a few slashed tires and some rear suspension fixes.

Hall Racing is likely to compete with the ZR2 in other Best in the Desert races to provide more performance data for the GM engineers in Michigan. Ford used the same strategy when it teamed up with Foutz Motorsports two years ago to test the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor. We suspect we could see more manufacturers use these punishing races to improve off-road technology in pickups.

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