A crowdfunding-powered privateer effort has done what Dodge never officially attempted to do: Set a Nurburgring lap time in the soon-to-be-discontinued fifth-generation Viper. With professional racer Dominik Farnbacher at the wheel, a brand-new, bone-stock Viper ACR just set a 7:03.45 lap time at the famed German track. This was the first traffic-free timed lap on a dry track for the Viper.
The Viper 'Ring Record Run powered by Kumho and co-sponsored by Prefix brought two brand-new, bone-stock 2017 Viper ACRs in the commemorative GTS-R spec (just a livery, no mechanical changes) to the famed German racetrack. Funded largely by private donations from individual Viper enthusiasts, and utilizing cars straight off the showroom floor of , the effort marks the first Nurburgring lap record attempt in the current fifth-generation model.
Farnbacher, the driver who set today's lap time, was the man at the wheel for the Viper's last Nurburgring record attempt in 2011. Back then, Farnbacher drove a factory-backed fourth-generation Viper ACR to a 7:12.13 lap time.
Since the introduction of the current-generation Viper, Dodge has refused to return to the 'Ring to pursue a new lap time, opting instead to claim production-car lap records at 13 road courses in the United States. But with production of the American sports car set to end later this year, a private group of die-hard Viper enthusiasts raised money through crowdfunding, sponsorship, and private donations to bring the car to Germany for one last crack at the 'Ring.
It wasn't easy: the privateers originally scheduled one hour of closed-track lap time on Monday, July 24th, to attempt to set a lap time. But heavy rains all day scuttled those plans, leaving the team only able to practice during open lapping sessions with significant traffic, often under wet, rainy conditions. When a brief window of track time became available this afternoon, the team scrambled into action.
Road & Track has been traveling with the privateer Viper team in Germany all week. The lap time was set on brand-new, stock, street-legal Kumho Ecsta V720 tires (295/25 front, 355/30 rear on factory 19-inch wheels) supplied by Kumho, a sponsor of the attempt. And this is only the first lap attempt: the team plans to go for another flying lap later this week.
Update: We've clarified that these are actually bone stock GTS-R Commemorative Edition Viper ACRs running for the record.
Road & Track was invited to witness the Viper's 'Ring attempt by the organizers of the run. R&T paid for all travel and lodging related to the event. - Ed.