SRT Viper Cup Series Presented by Pennzoil Ultra Set for Exciting Return in 2012
– New name – same great racing; official schedule announced
– Series to visit five challenging and famous road courses in North America for 10 spec-series races
– Rule changes will produce even more on-track excitement by challenging series’ front-runners
– 2012 season kicks off April 14 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga.
– Additional returning sponsors include Mopar® and Michelin
– National Breast Cancer Coalition returns as official charity recipient
– Series features 2010 Dodge Viper ACR-X – the ultimate special-edition model of America’s ultimate sports car
Auburn Hills, Mich. – Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) brand has announced the 10-race 2012 season schedule for the newly named SRT Viper Cup Series Presented by Pennzoil Ultra – formerly the Dodge Viper Cup series. Entering its third year of competition in 2012, the series will visit five of the country’s most famous and challenging road courses at events sanctioned by the North American Road Racing Association (NARRA):
April 14-15 Road Atlanta, Braselton, Ga.
May 12-13 Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis.
July 7-8 Virginia International Raceway, Alton, Va.
Aug. 25-26 Monticello Motor Club, Monticello, N.Y.
Oct. 20-21 Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, N.Y.
A revised rule package for the 2012 season will see the elimination of race qualifying for the five scheduled Sunday races. Instead the Sunday race fields will be set in reverse order of the finishing field from each of the previous day’s races. This inverted start will lend for even more on-track action as the faster drivers will now have to move through the field to the front.
“The SRT Viper Cup Series continues to offer a fantastic way for road-racing enthusiasts to compete in our ultimate American sports car,” said Ralph Gilles – President and CEO, SRT and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “The 2010 Dodge Viper ACR-X is designed and built specifically for the race track by taking all 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. And with the rule changes for the 2012 season such as the inverted race field for Sunday races along with the continuation of our celebrity driver program, the next chapter of Viper racing looks to be better than ever.”
Celebrity Driver and Charity Payout Program
SRT selects each celebrity driver and professionally trains them for the on-track competition. As many as two celebrity drivers will be invited to participate each race weekend. Guaranteed payouts to celebrity drivers of $2,000 for the highest finishing celebrity and $1,000 for the next highest will be donated directly to the official charity of the series – the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Donations will be made following all 10 series races.
“We are exceedingly grateful to the SRT brand for selecting the National Breast Cancer Coalition as the official charity for its SRT Viper Cup Series in 2012,” said Fran Visco, President of the National Breast Cancer Coalition. “These grassroots racing efforts play an important role in helping bring more national attention and support to Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, our strategic plan of action to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020.”
Since its inception during the inaugural 2010 season, close to $80,000 has been donated to various charities as part of the celebrity driver program.
Also making a return to the series in 2012 is the Lux Performance Group, which will once again be the “works” team behind the scenes managing the celebrity driver program at all 10 races.
“Our successful SRT Viper Cup Series celebrity driver program will continue in 2012 by offering Viper ACR-X rides to select media and celebrities for them to experience one of the best factory-built race cars out there,” Gilles added. “We’re lucky to have the Lux Performance Group managed by Cindi Lux back with us to not only safely convey the special message of what it’s like to race a Viper, but to expertly provide the best race car and driver instruction possible every weekend.”
Series Contingency Program
The series contingency program sponsored by SRT, Mopar® and Michelin – the official tire of the series – provides a number of payouts to the top-10 drivers. Drivers from each race will earn the following payouts in cash, Mopar vouchers awarded as credit toward the purchase of Mopar parts and accessories, and Michelin Tire Bucks awarded as credit toward the purchase of Michelin tires.
The 2012 SRT Viper Cup Series champion will win an additional $10,000 cash award. Series entry fees will remain unchanged from last season at $800 per car, per race.
The ‘Ultimate’ Special-Edition Viper
The 2010 Dodge Viper ACR-X combines the best performance attributes of the record-setting, street-legal Dodge Viper American Club Racer (ACR) and the safety equipment of championship-winning Dodge Viper Competition Coupe. Powered by the SRT-developed 8.4-liter V-10 engine and equipped with factory headers and a low-restriction exhaust system, the Viper ACR-X produces 640 horsepower (40 more than the production model) and 605 lb.-ft. of torque (45 more than the production model).
The suspension also is tuned and upgraded specifically for on-track usage with unique springs, two-way adjustable shocks and adjustable sway bar links.
Curb weight is a full 160 pounds lighter (compared with the standard-2010 production Viper) to take on even the most challenging road course. Additional aerodynamic upgrades, including quad-dive planes and underbody ducts, improve downforce while enhancing stability and significantly improving grip in high-speed cornering.
Similar to the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, the 2010 Viper ACR-X contains factory-installed safety equipment such as a factory-designed roll cage, fire suppression system, fuel cell and race seat. Additional racing components, including a transmission cooler, rear differential cooling system, unique front rotors with larger surface area and improved brake cooling via scoops in the front fascia, are added to meet the significant durability and reliability requirements for on-track competition.
Only 50 units of the 2010 Dodge Viper ACR-X were built and all have been sold.
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 2000 – the first for a production-based American car.
Viper finished one-two at The 24 Hours of LeMans in GTS class in three consecutive years: 1998 – 2000 and also captured GTS class, manufacturer’s and driver’s championships in the American LeMans Series in 1999 and 2000.
The Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, introduced in 2003, delivered the next chapter of that history 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.
In 2010, Ryan Schimsk of Austin, Texas, captured the inaugural Dodge Viper Cup series championship by virtue of his five race wins and strong finishes in the other five races of no worse than fourth. Series regulars Ben Keating (Victoria, Texas) and Keith Verges (Dallas) finished second and third, respectively.
Keating captured the 2011 Dodge Viper Cup series championship by winning four races and seven pole positions. His championship run was not complete until the final race of the season at Daytona. Jeff Courtney and series rookie, A.J.Morgan finished second and third respectively in the season standings.
North American Road Racing Association and Viper Days
The SRT Viper Cup Series is one of four separate series (including the US GT Championship, Whelen US TimeTrial Championship, and US Performance Driver Education) sanctioned by NARRA and Viper Days, which plans to hold eight event weekends in 2012.
The 2012 NARRA/Viper Days schedule consists of the following:
March 23-25 INDE Motorsports Ranch, Willcox, Ariz.
April 13-15 Road Atlanta, Braselton, Ga.
May 11-13 Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis.
June 8-10 New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, N.J.
July 6-8 Virginia International Raceway, Alton, Va.
Aug. 24-26 Monticello Motor Club, Monticello, N.Y.
Sept. 21-23 Texas World Speedway, College Station, Texas
Oct. 19-21 Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, N.Y.
For more information on NARRA and Viper Days, visit www.NARRAonline.com and www.viperdays.com.
The Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) brand uses a successful product development formula featuring five proven hallmarks: awe-inspiring powertrains; outstanding ride, handling and capability; benchmark braking; aggressive and functional exteriors and race-inspired and high-performance interiors to remain true to its performance roots. The expansion of the SRT vehicle lineup in 2012 features four new products that are world-class performance contenders and bring the latest in safety technologies and creature comforts. These products include the Chrysler 300 SRT8®, Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, Dodge Charger SRT8 and Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT8.
About Mopar Brand
Mopar is Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand and distributes 280,000 parts and accessories. With the creation of the Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A. partnership, Mopar is extending its global reach, integrating service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance dealer and customer support worldwide. Combined with Fiat S.p.A., Mopar’s global portfolio includes more than 500,000 parts and accessories which are distributed in more than 120 countries. Mopar is the source for all genuine parts and accessories for Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A. brands.
Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A.vehicles — a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at http://www.mopar.com.
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For more information on the National Breast Cancer Coalition, visit www.breastcancerdeadline2020.org