After the recent upgrades to the undead Viper SRT10 ACR recently, is it even possible for the snake to get more hard core? Sure it is, just let Ralph Gilles and his boys loose with a pipe bender and a mig welder!
That’s right, a pipe bender!
Obviously Gilles is a huge gearhead and has been taking the Dodge brand racing in an unofficial factory effort for years with his several visits to Targa Newfoundland. Now that he’s the big boss at Dodge, he is free to bring the the skunkworks out into the daylight and let them work their magic in public. Here we go again with the Win on Sunday, sell on Monday stuff. Ford did it back in the day and have been using motorsports to pull themselves to profitability again and it would seem that Gilles is a pretty strong believer in that same mantra.
They have stripped the ACR down even more, installed safety gear, applied even more downforce, made even more horsepower and mounted some enormous racing slicks. The plan is to go grass roots with the package and launch a single make spec series much like Ford has with the Miller Cup for Mustangs.
The Dodge Viper Cup is a 5 weekend, 10 race series with a $200,000 purse. The series will run with the existing Viper Racing League and drivers will use identical ACR-X models.
The only problem I see with the project is that Ford has a huge head start and a stable of great entry level cars to work with in addition to the Mustang. Fiesta and Focus are great platforms, not to mention several factory race packages that are available for the Mustang. Right now, the Dodge Boys only have the mucho expensive Viper platform to work with. Perhaps Gilles team will put something together for the Challenger to broaden the line up until the Italians arrive.
After the break we’ve got some very cool photos and some video of the ACR-X in action and the Dodge press release with full series details. Did I mention this thing sounds wicked?
Turn-key, spec-series racer aimed at continuing Dodge ViperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s storied racing history
Dodge and Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team combine best performance attributes of Viper ACR with Viper Competition Coupe
Latest special-edition Viper ACR offers improved on-track performance and safety
Dodge Viper Cup spec series will debut in July 2010
Orlando, Fla., Dec 10, 2009 – Dodge today pulled the cover off the newest special-edition model of the 2010 Viper SRT10 lineup. The Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X is a turn-key, non-street legal race car that is slated to make its on-track debut in the summer of 2010.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Dodge Viper ACR-X takes the performance attributes of Viper to an even higher level for a wide range of drivers starting with the grassroots racer all the way up to the professional,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, Dodge Brand. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This project is a result of many years of performance engineering expertise from our SRT team, combined with the passion and dedication of Viper Nation, to keep the Viper racing tradition going strong on tracks around the country and the world.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Combining the best performance attributes of the record-setting, street-legal Dodge Viper ACR (American Club Racer) and the safety equipment of championship-winning Viper Competition Coupe, the Viper ACR-X is powered by the SRT-developed 8.4-liter V10, equipped with factory headers and a low-restriction exhaust system, that produces 640 horsepower (40 more than production model).
The suspension also is tuned and upgraded specifically for on-track usage, while the weight is lightened by a full 160 pounds (versus the standard production Viper) to take on even the most challenging road course. Additional aerodynamic upgrades improve downforce, while enhancing stability and significantly improving grip in high-speed cornering.
Similar to the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, the Viper ACR-X contains factory-installed safety equipment such as a factory-designed roll cage, fuel cell and race seat. Additional racing components are added to meet the significant durability and reliability requirements for on-track competition.
In what will be the final year of production for the current generation Viper, the ACR-X is the third limited, special-edition model to be introduced by Dodge. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to make 2010 the most exciting year for Viper yet with specially developed cars for the street and the track,Ã¢â‚¬Â added Gilles. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The ACR-X is targeted at road-racing enthusiasts who want to successfully compete in our ultimate American sports car.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Last month, the SRT team used a testing session at Laguna Seca raceway to shake down the Viper ACR-X for the first time. Behind the wheel was professional driver Kuno Wittmer from the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship series, who was able to run consistent 1:31.00 lap times around the 2.238-mile, 11-turn course. WittmerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lap times were more than 3 seconds faster than the street-legal Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR that holds the production car track record at Laguna Seca raceway.
“The Dodge Viper ACR-X is incredible,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Wittmer. Ã¢â‚¬Å“After a short warm up, I was running lap times as quick as exotic GT race cars. I was blown away by the power and acceleration, and even more surprised at how the ACR-X navigated the challenging Laguna Seca corners and how friendly it was to drive at the limit.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“All aspects of the car work together perfectly to plant all that horsepower and torque without issue,Ã¢â‚¬Â Wittmer added. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This will be a great package for someone coming out of grassroots racing with a desire to step-up to GT level competition. Dodge nailed it with this one!”
The Viper SRT10 ACR-X is designed to compete in the Viper Racing League, Sports Car Club of America and National Auto Sport Association events.
ManufacturerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X will be approximately $110,000. Production is slated to begin in Spring 2010.
For more information on the Dodge Viper ACR-X, call Viper Race Headquarters at (888) 960-3333 or visit www.viperheadquarters.com
Dodge Viper Cup:
The Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X will make its on-track debut in July 2010 in a newly developed spec series called the Dodge Viper Cup, which will be sanctioned by the existing Viper Racing League. Each vehicle in the new series must be the new Viper ACR-X.
Two races per weekend for five weekends will make up the 10-race 2010 Dodge Viper Cup schedule which includes July 9-11 at Virginia International Raceway; August 14-15 at Hallett Raceway; September 11-12 at Pocono Raceway; October 1-3 at Miller Motorsports Park and October 22-24 at Daytona International Speedway.
A contingency program sponsored by Dodge Motorsports and Mopar will pay out more than $200,000 during 2010. Payouts for each race are in cash and Mopar vouchers come as credit toward purchase of Mopar parts and accessories.
Per Race Cash Mopar Voucher Total
1st $6,500 $1,000 $7,500
2nd $4,500 $500 $5,000
3rd $2,500 $250 $2,750
4th $1,250 $150 $1,400
5th $500 $100 $600
Additional cash awards will be made to the top-3 finishers in the Dodge Viper Cup. The 2010 champion will win $25,000, second-place will receive $10,000 and third-place will pay $5,000.
Viper Racing Heritage:
The Dodge Viper has enjoyed a successful racing heritage that began in 1996 with the original Viper racing entry, the GTS-R, which earned five international GT championships and the 1997-1999 FIA GT championships. It also posted an amazing overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 1999 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the first for a production-based American car.
The Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, introduced in 2003, delivered the next chapter with its coupe-shaped carbon/Kevlar body and a track-ready chassis, based on the Dodge Viper SRT10. The Viper Competition Coupe has continued the on-track prowess by capturing the 2004 SCCA Speed World Challenge GT title, championships in Formula D Drifting series in 2004 and 2006 and the British GT Championship in 2007 and 2008.
Dodge has created a new website designed to showcase the Dodge Viper SRT10 both on the street and on the track. Check out the new online home for all things Viper at www.viperheadquarters.com
Viper Racing League:
The Viper Racing League is one race series within the group of three (including Challenge Series and Driving School) sanctioned by Viper Days. The series has 11-weekend events scheduled for the 2010 season at some of the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most prestigious race tracks. For more information including the 2010 race schedule, visit www.viperdays.com
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