New Viper 'Ring Record Should Put An End To This 'Ring Time Nonsense For All But The Most Irredeemably Stupid

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

Quoth the Viper Club:

Will those guys at Generous Motors ever learn? When you play with a snake…. you eventually get bit.

They are trying to hide the news at the Corvette Forums, but like the horsepower in their supercharged small block… it’s too much to handle.

The word is out , let the crying and the excuses begin.

There’s no “official” word yet about it, but it appears that a new-old-stock 2010 Viper ACR, pulled off the floor at Tomball Dodge, has run a 7:12 “and change”.

It is soooo nice to be proven right. In my article about GM’s decision to return to the Ring for more publicity, I wrote

Is the ACR still faster around the ‘Ring on equal tires? Almost certainly.

I made that statement based on my time driving Corvettes and Vipers and from observing the various ‘Ring videos. Needless to say, I was tried in absentia and sentenced to death by various forum fanboys around the globe. Sorry, kids!

According to various sources around the Internet, the SRT team took two ACRs from the showroom floor of Texas dealership Tomball Dodge and ran 7:12. This puts them ahead of the GT-R, the GT2, the ZR1, and the LF-A. To do it, they had to find ten seconds on a seven-minute track, which is about like finding two seconds at Mid-Ohio: difficult, but not impossible. And Chevrolet had already shown them how to do it: put in some more laps and swap out the tires.

The tire-swapping bit, by the way, is my personal conjecture. I don’t know that they put new tires on. I strongly doubt that they left the 2009-vintage stockers on. Tires degenerate as they are exposed to ozone.

What’s more important than the specific tire composition are these two facts:

  • The Viper ACR is the finest vehicle ever built. I believe this in my soul. The only reason I don’t have one: it’s capable of eating $2000 a day worth of tires on the racetrack, whereas my Boxster can humiliate trackday heroes all year for one set of $500 used Hoosiers.
  • ‘Ring times are like any other laptimes in the world: subject to weather, chance, and the constant grinding effort of development work. Doesn’t matter if you start with a “stock” car. You can adjust camber, you can crank the toe in back until you either set a record or kill your driver, you can mess around with tire temps, you can use your datalogger to stitch together an “ideal lap” and then go run that lap. Period. No magic. No special significance. It’s a racetrack. Nothing more. Nothing less.

If you don’t think the LF-A crew could go back and develop another few seconds out of the car, you’re nuts. This could continue for a very long time, or at least until a driver dies setting a marketing laptime. At the speeds these cars can reach, and the ‘Ring’s archaic barrier setup, that day cannot be far away. The times will drop as long as there is the slightest possibility of enticing some Russian mobster to trade in one car for another based on those times.

Right now, however, the Viper is on top. An old 2010 model of a car developed in 2001 beat the “world’s best”. Best of all, you can run out and buy one still at many dealers. Why’s that? Because sometimes being the fastest car out there isn’t enough to move the fiberglass. But you knew that, right?

Jack Baruth
Jack Baruth

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  • Les Les on Sep 15, 2011

    It's not about making good ad-copy anymore, it's about manufacturer's waving their [CENSORED] at each other.

    • BklynPete BklynPete on Sep 16, 2011

      Les, I think Mr. Niedermeyer is OK with us saying "johnsons." If not, I guess I'm banned.

  • Power6 Power6 on Sep 16, 2011

    I know you love to dump on the Top Gear Jack, but bravo to those guys for calling for an end to the "Nurburgring development" crap this season. Great for the ACR, you mentioned all the work that went into setting the time, except you didn't mention that they started with a Viper ACR. I bet it had the hardcore package, I mean they are out to do this thing right. That is a track car, it absolutely sucks on the street. I guess this laptime showboating stuff is for all the rich guys who just *have* to have the best out there. They need the ACR, the Z06, the GT3, or the GT3 RS, or the "GT3 RS America super happy funtime check out my straps for door handles I am soooo hardcore" edition. Meanwhile the regular version is a quicker and more comfortable car over our crumbling American roads.

  • Arthur Dailey Have to admit that I love that interior colour. And also like the upholstery on the seats and the inside of the door panels. And when was the last time you saw a door hanging coffee cup holder? Some here probably didn't know that such a device existed.
  • Buickman this is about cars. I miss Robert.
  • 28-Cars-Later Can we end debt slavery next? Its getting to the point where its no longer voluntary.
  • Carson D Honda and Toyota still make the best American cars.
  • Slavuta I just though, with this rate we could make Cinco De Mayo a national holiday as well. Since we have tens of millions of American Mexicans, and probably more than African Americans