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By Dale Jewett
The Dodge Viper loves the race track as much as the street. So it’s no surprise that a pair of V-10-powered Vipers will be among the 53 cars lined up this Saturday for the start of one of the world’s great endurance races, the Rolex 24 at Daytona. If you’re a fan of the Viper, you’ll want to watch.
The Vipers, wearing numbers 33 and 93, are being fielded by private owner and Viper retailer Ben Keating. His team will compete in the GT Daytona class with Viper GT3-R cars prepared by Riley Motorsports. The cars’ white, blue and green paint scheme reflects the primary sponsorship by automotive supplier TI Automotive.
In addition to Keating, the driver roster for the Daytona endurance race includes brothers Jeroen and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, 2014 GT Le Mans class champion Kuno Wittmer, Marc Goossens, Dominik Farnbacher, Al Carter and two-time Trans-Am champ Cameron Lawrence. Yes, some of those names are familiar to Viper racing fans. Wittmer, Goossens and Farnbacher were teammates last year as the Viper competed in the series’ GT Le Mans class. Goossens started last year’s Rolex 24 race on the GTLM pole, while Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen raced in the GT Daytona class. So the Viper racing experience on this team runs deep. It comes in handy when battling competitors driving Ferrari, Porsche, Audi, BMW and Aston Martin cars in the class, as well as entries in the Prototype and Le Mans classes.
Earlier this week, Wittmer visited the FCA US LLC Technical Center to meet employees and sign autographs. It gave us a chance to ask him the difference between a GTLM Viper and the car set up for GT Daytona competition.
“The car we’re in this weekend has a little more horsepower due to less air restriction on the engine. But there are less electronics in the car, no traction control or stability control,” Wittmer said. “It’s a different animal.”
As Viper fans, we love seeing the car go wheel-to-wheel with competitors on the track. So we’ll be tuned into the action at Daytona this weekend.
The Rolex 24 starts at 2:10 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. Want to keep up with the race? Here is the TV and Internet broadcast schedule, along with a meaty list of
Twitter feeds you’ll want to follow:
- Fox Sports will broadcast the race. The broadcast runs on the Fox network from 2-4 p.m., switches to Fox Sports 2 from 4-8 p.m. and switches to Fox Sports 1 from 8-10 p.m. Race coverage during the overnight hours streams on IMSA TV atwww.imsa.com from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Then Fox Sports 1 picks up the telecast from 7 a.m. until the race concludes. You can also listen to the radio broadcast of the race online at www.radiolemans.com. Track live scoring at timing athttp://scoring.imsa.com.
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From our friends at Torque News. We are trying to get some verification.
The news is flowing out of Texas that Burns Motors has gotten a 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat down the quarter mile in just 10.4 seconds with nothing other than drag radial tires, high octane gasoline and very good weather – a number which Edinburg Raceway claims is a record for the new supercharged Challenger.
This information comes from the Edinburg Raceway Facebook page, where are are claims of a 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat running 10.48 at 133 miles per hour, with nothing more than drag radial tires and 109 octane race gas. There has been no video offered yet, but Edinburg claims that there will be a video on the way that shows the 707hp Mopar muscle car running 10.40s in Texas.
Hellcat Challenger Racing at Edinburg
The details are not totally complete, but on Monday and Tuesday, Edinburg Raceway played host to a pair of 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat production cars during their test and tune sessions. This included a totally stock Hellcat Challenger in white and a black Hellcat Challenger that is fitted with Mickey Thompson ET drag radials and 109 octane fuel.
The stock 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat in white took to the track on Monday night with the weather being clear at 53 degrees. Other crucial numbers during the run included 57% humidity, 30.51 barometric pressure, a density altitude of -843 and a track elevation of 96 feet above sea level. With these conditions, the Hellcat Challenger ran a best time with the stock Pirelli tires of 11.054 at 126 miles per hour. That’s quick for a stock car.
The modified 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in black came out to the track on Tuesday with cooler air (48 dregrees) but higher humidity (71%). With a barometric pressure of 30.43 and a density altitude of -1093, this Challenger that was fitted with Mickey Thompson ET drag radial tires and filled with 109 octane turned out an incredible 10.483 at 133.53 miles per hour.
That was 10.48 at 133 miles per hour for the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat with the 8-speed automatic transmission, drag radial tires and high octane fuel. Nothing else and yes, that is incredible.
Some Expected Controversy
As is the case with any stunning performance numbers by any car, there are people insisting that the 10.43 simply isn’t possible from the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat with just high octane fuel and drag radials. These people are insisting that the high octane gas was run because the car was tuned or because it was running nitrous oxide. The reason that the team ran the 109 octane does not necessarily mean that it was tuned (especially since no performance tunes have been released for the Hellcat Hemi yet), but rather, the high octane gas just goes to insure that the engine is running at the peak of its performance.
If you were to put crappy gas in the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, the computer would make the necessary adjustments to prevent any engine damage. This usually includes the computer pulling engine timing, which results in a power loss. You don’t need to run 89 octane instead of 93 octane to experience this power loss – even running crappy, low quality 93 octane can cause the engine control computer to dial down the power a little. Running the 109 octane gasoline guarantees that the Hellcat Hemi is running at its best possible timing configuration, essentially serving as insurance against low quality gas reducing power during the run.
As soon as the videos of these runs hit the internet, you can expect to find them here on TorqueNews.com, but in the meantime, feel free to tell us in the comments why you think that these times are incredible…or why they are too incredible to be true.
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