Dodge Viper Cup Series Crowns 2010 Season Champion
* Ryan Schimsk captures 2010 title with late season surge
* Dodge Motorsports assists five separate charities with monetary donations from series celebrity driver program and charity auction
* National Breast Cancer Coalition accepts largest donation following efforts at season finale weekend
* Dodge Viper Cup series season finale race will be broadcast on Versus at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) Nov. 14
Ryan Schimsk (second from left) is the 2010 Dodge Viper Cup series champion; Ben Keating (third from left) finished second and Keith Verges (first from left) finished the season in third place.
Auburn Hills, Mich. , Nov 12, 2010 -
The inaugural season of Dodge Viper Cup series action concluded with a dual race weekend Oct. 23-24 at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nev., where Ryan Schimsk of Austin, Texas, earned the series championship.
The championship concluded a long battle for the top two spots through the first eight series races between Schimsk’s No. 67 Dodge Viper ACR-X and the No. 33 Dodge Viper ACR-X of Ben Keating of Victoria, Texas. Schimsk capped off a late season charge that saw him capture three of the final four series’ races to earn the 2010 Dodge Viper Cup series title.
“I came into the Dodge Viper Cup series with something to prove to myself after taking a couple of years off from racing and got this opportunity to drive this sweet, new spec-series race car,” an excited Schimsk said following his championship-clinching win. “I have to thank Dodge Motorsports for launching this competitive series and giving me that opportunity to show what the Dodge Viper ACR-X can do on the race track.”
Ralph Gilles, Dodge President and CEO – Dodge Car Brand, who also competed successfully behind the wheel of a Dodge Viper ACR-X during a few races this season, was extremely impressed by the first series’ champion and the overall level of competition during the inaugural season of Dodge Viper Cup series action.
“Ryan’s championship is extremely well deserved,” Gilles said. “Winning five out of the 10 races this year is impressive enough, but Ryan was also the most consistent driver having finished no worse than fourth in any of the 10 races against some strong competition from the series regulars and our strong list of celebrity drivers. Making it through our first season and seeing our spec-series Dodge Viper ACR-Xs in action at some of the best road courses in the country is a dream come true for all Viper enthusiasts, “ Gilles added. “It’s been a fantastic year for Viper Nation on and off the track, and we're going to review this program and make improvements in every way we can for the 2011 Dodge Viper Cup series season.”
Final Race Weekend Produces On-Track Excitement
Full-time series drivers’ Schimsk and Keating entered the series final weekend separated by a mere 48 points, providing some drama going in to the final two contests.
The starting lineup for series’ race No. 9 on Oct. 23 was made more interesting when some of the fastest qualifiers were moved back in the grid after missing a mandatory pre-race driver’s meeting. Schimsk started on the pole, while Keating started third just behind another series regular Keith Verges (in the No. 90 Dodge Viper ACR-X) in second.
At the drop of the green flag, celebrity-pro driver and TV host Tanner Foust began his charge to the front from his eighth-place starting spot.
On lap 7, a full-course caution came out and Keating, who was running third at the time, missed the caution lights and mistakenly passed Schimsk and Foust during the caution period. Keating was later penalized with a 1-minute stop, which was added on to his final race elapsed time and moved him back to eighth place in the final race results.
Schimsk was able to hold off a hard-charging Foust and his No. 52 Viper ACR-X to win the race and clinch the series’ championship. Foust finished the race in second, just .5 second behind, while Verges finished third.
In race No. 10 on Oct. 24, Gilles surprised the field by putting his No. 01 Viper ACR-X on the pole. Close behind Gilles were Foust, Schimsk and Keating, who all qualified within .768 second of each other. All four competitors used great standing starts to quickly earn some distance from the rest of the field. Before he knew it, Gilles was feeling pressure from Foust, who was able to get by him by the first turn and take the lead.
Gilles and Schimsk put on a show for several laps with close racing before Schimsk made a successful pass on lap 8 to take over the second spot.
Despite the intense racing, that’s how the top three drivers finished the final race of the 2010 season with Foust out front, Schimsk in second and Gilles completing his podium finish in third. Keating came in a close fourth while Verges finished fifth, which was enough for him to clinch the third spot in the 2010 championship standings.
Detailed race results and final season standings can be found below.
The final race of the 2010 Dodge Viper Cup series season will be broadcast on Versus at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) Nov. 14.
Charitable Contributions From Viper Cup Series Activities Help Make A Difference
Various celebrity drivers participated in all 10 races of the 2010 Dodge Viper Cup series season. Top-five finishers of any race donated their purses to charities of their choice.
The following is a summary of the donations raised during the 2010 Dodge Viper Cup series season:
For the final race weekend of the 2010 season, and to support October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dodge Motorsports and the North American Road Racing Association (NARRA) entered into a partnership with the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Monies earned by on-track celebrity driver performances and an auction that took place on Oct. 23 in Pahrump, Nev., were combined into one donation.
Celebrity driver Foust, who placed second in race No. 9 and won the season finale race No. 10, earned a total of $11,000 for the organization, while Gilles generated an additional $2,500 from his third-place finish in race No. 10. In addition, the auction generated more than $16,600, resulting in a $30,100 donation to National Breast Cancer Coalition on behalf of Dodge Motorsports and NARRA.
Fran Visco, the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s president praised Dodge Motorsports and NARRA for its support.
“With estimates that 263,070 women and men will be diagnosed with invasive and in situ breast cancer in 2010, this disease affects us all. We are grateful to the 2010 Dodge Viper Cup series participants and their generous support of the National Breast Cancer Coalition and our Breast Cancer Deadline 2020. This partnership helps us spread the word, change the conversation and gets us closer to ending breast cancer by January 1, 2020.”
As a result of his pair of third-place finishes in races No. 7 and No. 8, Gilles earned $5,000, which Dodge Motorsports donated on his behalf to the National Organization of Albinism and Hypopigmentation.
As a result of his third-place finish in series race No. 6 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., on Sept. 12, multiple X-Games skateboarding gold medal winner Bucky Lasek earned $2,500, which Dodge Motorsports donated on his behalf to the Athlete Recovery Fund for injured professional athletes.
By finishing second in series race No. 3 on Aug. 14 and first in series race No. 4 on Aug. 15, at Hallett Raceway in Jennings, Okla., retired Indy Car and Champ Car star Richie Hearn earned $11,000, which Dodge Motorsports donated on his behalf to the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation.
By finishing fourth in Viper Cup series race No. 2 on July 11 at Virginia International Raceway, Shaun Bailey from Road and Track magazine earned $1,250, which Dodge Motorsports donated on his behalf to Habitat for Humanity of Orange County (Calif.).
In total, Dodge Motorsports and Mopar® offered more than $200,000 in cash and Mopar parts vouchers in 2010 as part of the Dodge Viper Cup series contingency program. Charitable contributions on behalf of the celebrity driver program and the silent auction totaled $49,850.
“The” Ultimate Special-Edition Viper
Combining 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, the Viper ACR-X is powered by the SRT-developed 8.4-liter V-10 engine, equipped with factory headers and a low-restriction exhaust system that 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-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 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.
For more information on the Dodge Viper Cup series, check out the online home for all things Viper at Viper Headquarters | 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10, ACR, ACR-X, Competition Coupe, Vooodoo and 1.33 Special Editions
Celebrity-pro driver Tanner Foust competed in the No. 52 Dodge Viper ACR-X, capturing a race win a second-place finish. As a result, he raised $11,000 for the National Breast Cancer Coalition..
Dodge Motorsports teamed up with the North American Road Racing Association to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Coalition and their efforts to eradicate breast cancer.