Seven minutes. That’s the target these days for Nürburgring laps. Only a few street-legal cars have cracked the mark, and the Dodge Viper isn’t one of them. But it’s come pretty darn close, and could yet break the barrier soon.
As you may recall, there’s an independent effort under way to set a new lap record around the Nordschleife in the fifth-generation Viper ACR, backed by crowdfunding and sponsorship – but no factory support.
Road & Track is there with the team in the Eifel mountains to witness and document the effort, reporting that the team had set a lap time of 7:03.45. That’s a good nine seconds faster than the same driver, Dominik Farnbacher, set in a factory-backed fourth-gen Viper ACR back in 2011, and a only a fraction of a second off the time set in 2012 (again with factory support) by the Viper ACR-X that’s not street legal.
It’s also closer than anything else has come to that key seven-minute mark without crossing it. The only other street-legal production vehicles to make it around the ‘Ring faster are the Porsche 918 Spyder, Lamborghini Aventador SV, and Huracan Performante (plus a handful of Radicals that are barely street legal) that have all racked up sub-seven-minute times.
The effort is under way with a pair of Viper ACR GTS-R Commemorative Editions, bone stock and fitted with the optional aero pack, straight off the showroom floor at the Viper Exchange in Houston, Texas. It’s sponsored (and supplied) by Kumho Tires and engineering consultancy Prefix, but is otherwise funded by fans: the GoFundMe campaign surpassed its $159k goal with a total of $177,722 raised to date. R&T reports that further laps are on the cards, so we could yet see an even faster time before the week is up. But according to the team’s Facebook page, they’d need another $50,000 to make it back next month for another effort.