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This coming Sunday, October 9th, a very special event will air on Versus at 3 pm Eastern Time. It’s the Duel in the Desert, a special edition of the Viper Cup race series, where a talented collection of drivers and motorsports heros, from all different forms of the genre, race against each other at Miller Motorsports Park, in Toole, Utah.
The race, actually run back in April, features such legends as Roger Penske, Jeff Gordon, Robbie Gordon, Sam Hubinette, Kurt Busch, Kuno Wittmer, Allen Johnson and Ralph Gilles to name a few.
Each of the 24 drivers competed in identically prepped Dodge Viper ACR-X coupes, and were split into two person teams, with single qualifying lap times from each averaged together in order to determine starting positions on the grid for the race.
Timed for just 50 minutes, the actual event required each team to make a pit stop and change drivers halfway through, making for some very exciting racing.
Besides competing, the celebrity drivers were also racing for a cause, with money donated by the top three finishing teams, to several charities, including the Haiti Rescue Effort, National Breast Cancer Coalition, Shriners Hospital, Tarrant Area Food Bank (Ft. Worth, Texas), Children’s Rare Disease Network and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
“I can’t say enough about the generosity and mutual respect shown by each and every participant in the ‘Dodge Viper Celebrity Challenge,’ Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of Chrysler’s SRT Group and Dodge Motorsports. “I’m proud to share the same common thread of being racers at heart that can take the time out to not only come together and compete on the same stage, but also raise money for worthy charity causes.”
Here’s a perk that those lucky Ford Mustang Boss 302 owners get: a free track day with Ford Racing at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. And now that dates have been announced and the phone lines now open for registration, those owners should better clear their calendars.
The two-day experience begins with a private dinner and tour at the track’s Larry H. Miller Total Performance Museum, where owners will bone up on their knowledge of Boss heritage. The next day consists of classroom sessions with instructors, then a chance to practice vehicle techniques behind the wheel of their Mustangs. After lunch comes exercises around the entire track with instructors and then by themselves. Upon completion, owners get a special graduation pack and the bragging rights of their entire neighborhood.
Fifteen sessions are now available, starting now until the end of the year. Dates and registration are available on the Boss Track Attack website or by calling 435-27-SPEED. Participants can also stay an extra day or bring a guest, which reminds me: my own schedule’s clear for the rest of the year, as a matter of fact. Hint, hint.
[Source: Mustangs Daily]
Last week we reported the news of Kuno Wittmer setting a new lap record at Miller Motorsports Park in a Dodge Viper ACR and now we get to witness it through the beauty of two synchronized cameras. The record-setting lap time, which was just barely shy of 2-minutes (1 minute 59.995 seconds) was close to four seconds faster than the previous record time in a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.
What is amazing to watch is the ease at which Wittmer pilots the ACR through the course on its way to a record-setting lap. It’s obvious in the video just how well-tuned the Viper ACR is and how balanced of a machine it is on the track. The video features an in-car camera that has been synchronized with video footage of the track, which really gives a great sense of the speed that Wittmer was sustaining throughout the course.
Check out the video after the jump.
After a shaky start to the 2011 World Challenge series season, Cadillac‘s CTS-V Coupe race cars finally showed some promise over the weekend at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. Drivers Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim finished fourth and fifth in the GT Class, helping both drivers move up the standings in the Championship race, and landing Cadillac second in the manufacturers points category.
As impressed as we are with the team’s effort, we’re perhaps more enthused by the selection of photos the team managed to gather from the scenic track. Browse the gallery of car porn below and watch for the V coupes to make their next run at the podium on the May 20-24 weekend at Mosport International Raceway.
GALLERY: Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Race Cars
The Dodge Viper ACR does it again. On Monday, April 11, Kuno Wittmer drove a production spec ACR to a new lap record at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah; in the process breaking the 2-minute mark for the very first time.
Running on Miller’s 3.048 mile outer course; Wittmer crossed the finish line in just 1 minute 59.995 seconds; pulverizing the previous lap record set by Jan Magnussen in a Corvette ZR1 (Magnussen’s best was 2.03.86 – almost a full four seconds slower!).
Although having already spent much time driving Viper ACRs; Montreal native Wittmer continues to be impressed by the car’s capability. After his record-setting escapade, he remarked, “the [Viper ACR] is such a blast to drive at the limit and I can honestly say I didn’t leave an inch out there on the track and was barely braking in the corners!”
Wittmer’s latest record, joins a growing list of accomplishments for the Viper ACR, which so far include track records at Laguna Seca and the infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife (since surpassed), where Dutch driver Tom Coronel piloted one to a lap time of just 7 minutes 22 seconds!
Heffner Performance is all about tuning luxury and exotic vehicles to maximize their performance. Recently they had the opportunity to team up with Roger Miller and TDC Motorsports to install their coveted twin turbo kit on an Audi R8 at Miller Motorsports Park. While Heffner Performance was working on twin turbocharging the R8 beast, PPI North America helped overhaul the R8′s suspension, brakes and body kit, but mainly focused on installing their own carbon fiber components to the Audi R8. The entire build took place at Miller Motorsports Park and as soon as the vehicle was done, it was taken straight out onto the track by Roger Miller himself.
And apparently Jason Heffner joined in on the fun by having his own R8 sent out to Miller Motorsports Park. Together both R8s hit the track for plenty of fun. So much fun in fact that Heffner has just chosen to leave his R8 out at Miller Motorsports Park and plans on returning soon.
Check out the video after the break and check out photos of the entire build here.
Caption/Credit: Larry Miller Leans on a Ford Mustang at the Miller Motorsports Park (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret Morning News)
While Larry H. Miller might be better known as the owner of the Utah Jazz Basketball organization, auto aficionados know him for creating the Miller Motorsports Park. Miller died on Friday due to complications due to diabetes.
Miller was more than just a business owner, however; he was an active member of his community. He donated millions of dollars to build a 20 acre Salt Lake Community College campus, he taught several masters of business administration classes at Brigham Young University, and gave money to establish a police officer training center. Some estimates put his donations at well over $100 million.
Miller was a self-made man, who created the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies from his auto-parts business and one Toyota dealership which he opened in the late 1970s. Miller expanded his auto empire to include more than 40 dealerships. From there he ownered and operated several movie theaters as well as local radio and TV stations and even the Jordan Commons, a retail, entertainment and office complex.
As mentioned, he is best known for owning the Utah Jazz, although he also owned the Salt Lake Bees, a minor league baseball team.
The Miller Motorsport Park, located in Tooele, Utah, is a 23-turn 4.5-mile road course. Originally a $5 million project to be used as a playground by Miller, the project quickly became an enormous undertaking with a cost of $85 million. The track opened in 2005 and now plays host to the American Le Mans Series, Grand Am Series, SPEED World Challenge Series and the AMA Superbike series. It also hosts certain NASCAR series races and is home to the Ford Racing High Performance Driving School. In 2006 it was named Motorsports Facility of the Year by the Professional Motorsport World Expo in Cologne, Germany.
The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies is one of the 150 largest privately held corporations in the United States with more than 7,000 employees in six states with an annual revenue of $3 billion.
“Larry was not only one of the finest auto dealers in the country, he was also one of the finest humanitarians,” said Iowan John McEleney, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association. “In fact, it would be hard to find a finer human being. When it came to helping others, Larry set the standard.”
[Source: Salt Lake Tribute]
See a tour of the Miller Motorsprots Park Museum by our friends at Garage419 after the jump: