Dodge Viper Cup Series to Air on Versus

Dodge Viper Cup Series to Air on Versus

Dodge has announced that the inaugural season of its Viper Cup Series will air on the VERSUS specialty cable network. The series kicks off  at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) on July 10-11, with that race airing on July 24th.

Each race weekend will feature two races, with the ten-race spec series moving to tracks like Pocono, Miller Motorsports Park and Spring Mountain.

Used exclusively in the Viper Cup Series is the new Viper ACR-X with a 640-hp 8.4-liter V10 engine, combined with a track-tuned suspension, a curb weight that has been cut by 160 lbs and several aerodynamic enhancements. A roll cage, fuel cell and race seats complete the package for racing in the SCCA and NASA Viper Racing League.

“The Dodge Viper ACR-X is designed and built specifically for the race track,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, Dodge Brand. “Now with VERSUS on board, race fans will have the opportunity to see our untamed and unmatched road-racing machine along with some of our talented Viper owner/drivers compete on five of the best road courses in the county as part of the Dodge Viper Cup series.”

GALLERY: Dodge Viper ACR-X

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Hit the jump for complete race dates and air times on Versus:

PRESS RELEASE

Dodge Viper Cup Series Kicks Off Inaugural Season On VERSUS

Virginia International Raceway Hosts First Two Viper Cup Races

* Ten-race spec series features new Dodge Viper ACR-X – “the” ultimate special-edition model of America’s ultimate sports car

* VERSUS to televise all 10 events in 30-minute show format

* MICHELIN signs on as official tire sponsor

* First two races of Viper Cup series celebrity driver program will feature Shaun Bailey of Road and Track magazine and Army National Guard Sergeant Mike Kohn of U.S. Olympic bobsledding fame

* Growing interest in the new series leads Dodge to produce 25 additional 2010 Viper ACR-X models

July 9, 2010 , Auburn Hills, Mich.

The next chapter in the racing legacy of the Dodge Viper is about to be written when 12 Dodge Viper ACR-X race cars take to the track to begin the 2010 Dodge Viper Cup series season at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in Alton, Va., July 10-11, 2010.

“The Dodge Viper ACR-X is designed and built specifically for the race track,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, Dodge Brand. “Now with VERSUS on board, race fans will have the opportunity to see our untamed and unmatched road-racing machine along with some of our talented Viper owner/drivers compete on five of the best road courses in the county as part of the Dodge Viper Cup series.”

Event Coverage on VERSUS

VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the U.S. will televise each of the 10 series races in 30-minute shows approximately two to three weeks after each race. Viewers should check local listings for the 2010 Dodge Viper Cup series schedule on VERSUS. If fans miss a certain race, each 30-minute show also will re-air on VERSUS at various times throughout the season.

“We look forward to delivering coverage of the new Dodge Viper Cup series to a national audience,” said Michael Perman, Senior Director of Program Planning and Acquisitions for VERSUS. “This is a great addition to our motorsports offerings, which includes the IZOD IndyCar Series as well as NASCAR events, and we are excited for the opportunity to provide viewers with even more racing action.”

The 2010 Dodge Viper Cup series on VERSUS (subject to change) consists of two races per weekend for five weekends, including:

Race Date             Venue             Air Date / Time (Eastern)

July 10             VIR              Sat., July 24, 2 p.m.

July 11             VIR              Sat., July 31, 2:30 p.m.

Aug. 14             Hallet Raceway, Jennings, Okla.              Sun., Sept. 5, 3:30 p.m.

Aug. 15             Hallett Raceway, Jennings, Okla.              Sun., Sept. 12, 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 11             Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pa.             Sun., Oct. 10, 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 12             Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pa.             Sun., Oct. 17, 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 2             Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah              Sun., Oct. 24, 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 3             Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah              Sun., Oct. 31, 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 23             Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch, Pahrump, Nev.             Sun., Nov. 7, 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 24             Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch, Pahrump, Nev.             Sun., Nov. 14, 3:30 p.m.

Celebrity Driver Program

As part of the 2010 Dodge Viper Cup series season, various celebrity drivers will be invited to drive in the on-track completion, and if they win, their purse will be donated to the charity of their choice. Each celebrity driver is specifically chosen by Dodge Motorsports and specially trained for all on-track competition in the series by professional racer Cindi Lux of Lux Performance Group. Lux competed successfully in a Dodge Viper Competition Coupe and brings extensive experience in management of Dodge Viper SRT10 Clubs along with various celebrity driver programs.

Shaun Bailey – competing in the No. 52 Viper ACR-X at VIR – joined Road & Track magazine in 2000 and became Associate Engineering Editor in July 2010.

Bailey, from Newport Beach, Calif., is a graduate of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. As a Manufacturing Engineer intern at Parker and Hannifin, he gained experience with robotics and motion control products. At CSU Pomona he joined the Formula SAE team, and the team’s success lead to his position at Road & Track. Bailey has competed in numerous Sports Car Club of America and National Auto Sport Association races, in addition to his interests in motorcycle and kart racing.

Army National Guard Sergeant Michael Kohn – competing in the No. 53 Viper ACR-X at VIR – became a competitive athlete at an early age. In high school, he excelled at football and in track and field. He was first introduced to the bobsled in 1990 and, at age 18, he was the youngest competitor in the 1991 Olympic Trials.

After graduating from George Mason University, Kohn entered World Cup racing in 1998 and finished fifth in the 1999 World Championships. In 2002, he won the Bronze medal at the Salt Lake City Olympics in the four-man event—the first U.S. Olympic medal in men’s bobsled since 1956.

Following the 2002 Olympics, Kohn switched from push athlete to driver. Since that time, he has won multiple National Championships and a World Cup Silver medal and has had many Top-10 finishes.

Kohn grew up in northern Virginia and currently resides in Potomac Falls, Va. He received a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. He joined the Army National Guard in 1999 as an Infantry Soldier, completing his Basic and Infantry AIT training at Fort Benning, Ga.

Also competing in the debut races of the Dodge Viper Cup series at VIR are:

Driver             Car No.             Hometown

Connie Bogan             10             Reno, Nev.

Larry Carter             44             Evans, Ga.

Jeffery Courtney             99             Jackson, Wis.

Eric Galerne             37             Houston, Texas

Ted Hughes             5             Seward, Neb.

Ben Keating              33             Port Lavaca, Texas

Ryan Schimisk             67             Austin, Texas

Jim Stout             1             Alliance, Ohio

Keith Verges             90             Dallas, Texas

Michael Von Quilich             247             Pahrump, Nev.

Series Contingency Program

Every vehicle that competes in the Dodge Viper Cup series must be a new 2010 Dodge Viper ACR-X. A contingency program sponsored by Dodge Motorsports and Mopar – Chrysler Group LLC’s source for all original equipment and performance parts for Dodge, Ram, Chrysler and Jeep vehicles – will pay out more than $200,000 during the 2010 season. Payouts for each race are in cash, and Mopar vouchers will be awarded as credit toward purchase of Mopar parts and accessories.

Finisher              Cash Awarded             Mopar Voucher             Total

1st             $6,500             $1,000             $7,500

2nd             $4,500             $500             $5,000

3rd             $2,500             $250             $2,750

4th             $1,250             $150             $1,400

5th             $500             $100             $600

Competitors finishing in sixth – tenth positions will receive a $500 discount on the entry fee for their next race, courtesy of the North American Road Racing Association – the sanctioning body for the Dodge Viper Cup series.

Additional cash awards will be made to the top-three finishers in the final Dodge Viper Cup series standings. The 2010 champion will win $25,000, second-place will receive $10,000 and third-place will pay $5,000.

MICHELIN North America Inc.

Tires are an important component of racing and one of the most studied components during a race. The 2010 Dodge Viper ACR-X was developed using the MICHELIN Racing Slick for the traction needed to hold the ACR-X through the turns and utilize the torque of the V-10 engine.

MICHELIN will provide contingency awards along with trackside and technical support at each race.

“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.

Following the initial production run of 25 units of the turn-key, non-street legal race car that were quickly purchased by racing enthusiasts and collectors, Dodge has built an additional 25 units, bringing the total of 2010 Viper ACR-X models to 50.

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.

The Viper ACR-X is designed to compete in the Viper Racing League, Sports Car Club of America and National Auto Sport Association events.

“We’re continuing to work hard to make this final year of production for the current-generation Dodge Viper in 2010 the most exciting year for Viper and Viper Nation alike,” added Gilles. “The production of the Viper ACR-X and the launch of the Dodge Viper Cup series will continue the momentum for years to come.”

Viper Racing Heritage

The Dodge Viper has enjoyed a successful racing heritage that began in 1996 with the original Viper racing entry, the GTS-R, which earned five international GT championships and the 1997-1999 FIA GT championships. It also posted an amazing overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000 – the first for a production-based American car.

Viper finished 1-2 at The 24 Hours of LeMans in GTS class in three consecutive years: 1998 – 2000 and also captured GTS class, manufacturer’s and driver’s championships in the American LeMans Series in 1999 and 2000.

The Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, introduced in 2003, delivered the next chapter of that history with its coupe-shaped carbon/Kevlar body and a track-ready chassis, based on the Dodge Viper SRT10. The Viper Competition Coupe has continued the on-track prowess by capturing the 2004 SCCA Speed World Challenge GT title, championships in Formula D Drifting series in 2004 and 2006 and the British GT Championship in 2007 and 2008.

www.viperheadquarters.com

Dodge has created a new website designed to showcase the Dodge Viper both on the street and on the track. Check out the online home for all things Viper at www.viperheadquarters.com

Viper Racing League

The Viper Racing League is one race series within the group of three (including Challenge Series and Driving School) sanctioned by Viper Days. The series has five remaining event weekends scheduled for the 2010 season at some of the country’s most prestigious race tracks. For more information including the 2010 race schedule, visit www.viperdays.com

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