On September 14, a Dodge Viper did the fabled Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7:12.13, beating the Lexus LFA which had done the ring in 7:14:64 just a few weeks before. That was a very respectable time and makes the Viper the fastest “true production car” around the Ring. (Somehow, a Gumpert Apollo and a Radical SR8 doesn’t sound like something that is produced in halfway serious numbers.)
The only thing that left something to be desired was the way the record was announced: It flew around in tweets and forum posts, but no official announcement was forthcoming. Finally, Chrysler issued an official press release, confirming that veteran GT driver Dominik Farnbacher piloted a “street-legal, 600-horsepower 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR (American Club Racer) to new record lap at the world’s most demanding road course – the famed 12.9-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife (north course)” in the aforementioned 7:12.13 . However, on what tires?
That kept people awake and triggered minor edit wars on Wikipedia, which somehow had morphed into the unofficial scorekeeper of Nordschleifen laptimes. The score keeper used to be Germany’s Sport Auto magazine, but dead tree based publications just can’t keep up. Casus belli of the edit war: The tires. The Chrysler press release had not expressly stated which tires were used on the ring. They had stated that the stock car comes with the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, but tires can be changed, and defenders of the honor of the Lexus clung to the missing rubber.
Contacted by TTAC, Chrysler spokesman Dan Reid now confirmed that “the team used the factory stock Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires for all the runs in the Viper ACR.” That settles that.
What is very much unsettling is the fact that the top spots are claimed by pseudo-production cars. One contributor on Wikipedia even complained that he had a “digital copy of the Radical’s owner’s manual showing the car’s requirements for a 45 minute start up procedure involving a laptop plugged into the ECU, 108 octane fuel, engine rebuilds every 30 hours, transmission inspections/rebuilds after every race, etc.” which doesn’t quite sound like a production car.