Dodge Viper ACR is Back at the Nurburgring
Last month, a group of Dodge Viper enthusiasts including a few professional race car drivers headed to the Nurburgring in Germany to attempt to set the production road car lap time record. This effort was completely independent of FCA, with the funding for the costly record attempt coming purely from fans via a GoFundMe account and some corporate sponsors, but inclement weather and some unusual mechanical problems prevented them from making as many good laps as they had hoped.
As a result, the Dodge Viper ACR was not able to break the production road car lap record of 6:57, set by the Porsche 918 Spyder, but with a time of 7:03, the Viper set the record for the fastest lap time by an American car, a rear wheel drive car and a car with a manual transmission – but the Porsche still holds the recognized Nurburgring record.
After that session resulting in a 7:03 for the Dodge Viper ACR, the team announced that they would like to head back in August, but they would need more funding. Not surprisingly, the “Viper Nation” stepped up and, with the help of some corporate sponsors like Prefix and Kumho, the Viper ACR Nurburgring record team raised enough money to make another trip across the pond for another attempt.
That attempt officially began late last week and continues through this week, but while the weather has been more compliant, the team still hasn’t claimed the Nurburgring record.
Lots of 7:03s, but No Record
Since the Dodge Viper ACR test cars hit the track last week, the good news is that they have been able to back up their 7:03 lap on multiple occasions. The bad news is that they haven’t been able to get any quicker than that thus far and a statement from the organizers explains that it is a combination of the track, the track conditions and the sticky factory tires.
When Dodge worked with Kumho to develop the tires on the Viper ACR, they spent time testing at tracks all over the United States` with those tires and while doing so, they set a bunch of lap time records. Kumho has also been heavily involved in the ongoing Nurburgring record attempt, but it seems that the length of the Nordschleife is taking its toll on these tires very quickly.
While the Nurburgring Nordschleife is unique for its incredible combination of high speed straights and tight, technical turns, it is best known for its incredible length. The Nordschleife configuration of the Nurburgring is 12.9 miles long and has 73 turns, so when a Viper goes out for a record attempt, the driver will make one warm up lap and one hard lap – after which time the car has been driven as hard as possible for roughly 26 miles, through almost 150 turns and over the course of almost 15 minutes. During that 15 minutes of high performance driving, the Viper is basically running a dozen or more laps at many of the popular American road courses and that seems to be the team’s key issue.
When the Dodge Viper team tested the new American Club Racer with the Kumho tires, they could hit the track for 8-9 minutes and get through a couple of laps, then they could allow the tires to cool down a bit before making another run. On the Nurburgring, the tires never have a chance to cool down and that endless abuse is compromising the grip beyond the 3rd lap.
The organizers are quick to point out that the Kumho tires are some of the best road-and-track tires on the market, but in the high temps being experienced in Germany right now, the length of the Nordschleife is hammering the tires. The belief is that in cooler temps, there would be less impact on the tires and that could lead to lap times as much as 5-6 seconds quicker, but it is unclear whether they have get cooler temps during this trip to the Ring.
We will keep our fingers crossed and bring you any news on the Dodge Viper ACR Nurburgring Nordschleife record attempt as it becomes available.
Image: The Viper Ring Record Run Powered by Kumho and Co-sponsored by Prefix Facebook Page