The Ram's Eye - A Driver's Blog: The Snake Strikes Back! SRT Viper Time Attack sets Laguna Seca record.



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Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Snake Strikes Back! SRT Viper Time Attack sets Laguna Seca record.




A while ago, Motor Trend held a comparison between a 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (with the ZR1 High Performance Package) and a 2013 SRT Viper GTS (full post: 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 vs 2013 SRT Viper GTS). The soon-to-be out of production Corvette ZR1 didn't only beat the new SRT Viper GTS, but it also took the title of the fastest production car on Laguna Seca - yes, the outgoing ZR1 broke the lap time record for production cars around Laguna Seca. To make matters worse for the SRT team, the last record holder was a Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR. Ralph Gilles, the president and CEO of SRT, wasn't happy to say the least.

Enter the SRT Viper Time Attack - a more hardcore track-ready version of the new SRT Viper (although not as hardcore as an ACR which is still in the works). The Viper TA uses lightweight matte-black Sidewinder II wheels wrapped in sticky R-compound goodness - Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires. They then dial in "significant negative camber" at all 4 corners to take better advantage of the sticky tires. Lightweight SRT Viper seats further reduce weight, with accommodation for 5 and 6 point racing belts.

To make sure the chassis and suspension can confidentially handle the added grip, retuned two mode Bilstein dampers are used with adjustments made to the factory user-selectable Street and Race mode suspension settings to offer firmer damping than the Viper GTS. Firmer springs are used in place of the ones used on the GTS. To make sure it stops as well as it takes off and turns, the existing (and excellent) brembo brakes are updated. New two-piece rotors with increased thermal capacity are used for additional resistance to brake fade.

The usual track-ready treatment from SRT always includes added downforce and the Viper TA is no different. Carbon fibre rear deck lid and two-piece front splitter work together to provide 238 lb. of downforce for a total of 278 lb. at 150 mph.

The result of all of this? The Viper TA took back the title as the fastest production car at Laguna Seca from the Corvette ZR1, posting a lap time of 1:33.6 (full post: 2013 SRT Viper TA First Test: Ralph's Revenge). The SRT team probably wouldn't have had it any other way.

Although that's a great feat, the current C6 Corvette ZR1 is on its way out of production to be replaced by the C7 Corvette Stingray (learn more about the C7 Corvette here: The Stingray is back! Details about the new 2014 C7 Corvette) and GM has already confirmed that the entry level Stingray is quicker than the current C6 Corvette Grand Sport. The C7 ZR1 will no doubt be a lot quicker than the current one. Not only will it be lighter, more aerodynamic and utilizing a more rigid chassis, it also might be packing about 700 hp (full post: 700 hp C7 Corvette Stingray ZR1 may be in the works!).

But that's not a problem for the SRT team because an SRT Viper ACR is also in the works and a C7 Corvette Stingray ZR1 vs SRT Viper ACR battle is bound to happen. Do you think the SRT team will be able to hold the lap time record after the Stingray ZR1 and SRT Viper ACR come out or will Chevy steal the shortly-held title back? Sound off in the comments below!

Source: SRT and Motor Trend

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