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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Viper ACRs Has Crashed

One of the Nurburgring Record Attempt Viper ACRs Has Crashed

Sep 01, 2017

The team attempting to set a Nurburgring lap record with two Dodge Viper ACRs has crashed one of the cars following a tire failure.

According to a Facebook post on the official page for the record attempt, driver Lance Arnold had set a lap time of 7:01.3 in the Viper ACR on his first lap in the car. Things were looking good for the team, but it all went awry on Arnold’s second attempt. Whilst taking a corner at about 160 mph, the ACR’s left front tire failed. Arnold nearly saved it and just barely brushed the guardrail on the left, but then shot across the track and hit the right side guardrail. The impact was significant – heavily damaging the front right of the car and setting off the airbag.

This is certainly not how the Texan ‘Ring record attempt team wanted their trip to Germany to end. Making the situation even harder was that Arnold had expressed confidence the ACR could crack the 7-minute mark and may even be able to best a time of 6:57. Both Dominik and Mario Farnbacher, who had piloted the car during earlier record attempts but were busy racing this weekend, also expressed confidence that the ACR was “a mid 6:50’s car.” The team brought two ACRs along for situations just like this, but the first car was put out of commission after the drain plug for the differential fell out, leaking fluid onto the track and destroying the diff.

The team says they will eventually post a video of the lap and the accident. This is definitely a disappointing end to this endeavor, but who knows, maybe the Viper Exchange team will return to the aptly named Green Hell one day soon.


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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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Dodge Viper ACR Sets 7:01.3 Lap Time in Final Nurburgring Attempt

Sep 1, 2017

The privateer Viper Nurburgring effort draws to a close with a series of mechanical misfortunes, but a new 'Ring record for American, rear-drive and manual transmission cars.

The independent, crowdfunded effort to set a Dodge Viper ACR Nurburgring lap time has come to a close in both victory and defeat. The victory: Driver Lance Arnold set a 7:01.3 lap time around the legendary circuit, a new all-time record for American, rear-drive, and manual-transmission cars. The defeat: Shortly after setting this time, Arnold suffered a tire failure that led to a crash, bringing the privateer effort to an end.

This week marked the third attempt at a lap time for the independent group. It was a week of several misfortunes. Early on, driver Luca Stolz suffered a sudden left-front tire failure at speeds exceeding 170 mph. After replacing the tire, Stolz returned to the track, but a loose drain plug caused the car to lose its differential oil, seizing the diff and putting the car out of contention.

Driver Lance Arnold set the 7:01.3 lap time on his first full-speed lap in the second Viper ACR, beating the previous 7:03.23 the team set late in August. But on his second lap, Arnold’s car suffered nearly the exact same tire failure that hobbled Stolz. At around 160 mph in a corner, Arnold’s left-front tire gave out. He grazed the left side guardrail, then skidded across the track into the railing on the right. The airbags deployed, but luckily, Arnold walked away without injury.

With both cars out of contention, and an unforeseen expense to repair the damaged railing, this seems to be the end of the crowdfunded, privateer effort to set a Viper ‘Ring lap time. Russ Oasis, the man who hatched the idea and who has been at the legendary circuit for every minute of this gargantuan effort, was understandably disappointed to have it end like this.

“The combination of this powerful car and this track demands too much from any tire that can also be street legal,” Oasis told me by phone from Germany. “This wraps up our effort, trying to bring home the ultimate worldwide production car record at the Nurburgring.

“It’s been an honor to have worked with drivers of this elite level,” he continued. “Luca Stolz, Lance Arnold, Mario and Dominik Farnbacher, we couldn’t have done this without them.” Dominik Farnbacher in particular was a driving force in the effort, Oasis said, working as the development driver who provided the feedback for the team to get the ACR’s suspension and aero settings idealized for the demanding 12.9-mile circuit.

Those racers, Oasis noted, had high hopes for the Viper too. “Everyone thought it was good for a 6:55,” he said. “Not one of them thought it couldn’t do that. Every single driver said this car is unbelievable.”

While the Viper crew wasn’t able to get below seven minutes, their effort has put the 2017 Dodge Viper ACR firmly into the record books—without any support from Dodge. As we told you back in July, this has been the only privately-funded, non-factory-backed effort to set a ‘Ring lap time. The fact that they did it with showroom-fresh, bone-stock Vipers (provided by Texas dealership Viper Exchange), full-tread-depth street-legal tires (supplied by Kumho, a major sponsor of the effort), and transparency unmatched by any automaker effort, sets them apart from any other ‘Ring lap attempt known to Road & Track. We can think of no better tribute to the Viper as it ends production.



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