Last week we talked about a group of crazy Viper owners that sent a pair of ACR Vipers to the Nurburgring for one last attempt at glory. Well, this week we actually get to see that lap.
At a time of 7:03.45, the ACR wasn’t able to complete its mission for king of the ring, but it did get a lot closer. The driver at the helm is none other than Dominic Farnbacher, Dodges version of The Stig. While this run did come up 11.44-seconds short of the Lamborghini Huracan Performante, a century in track time, the team is adamant their next attempt they will be able to come out on top. And I have to say, I believe them. Sure it’s a lofty goal, but they are dealing with one hell of a car, and they managed an already incredible time with little to no testing due to weather.
Lamborghini Huracan Performante Lap Record – 6:52.01
Take the section from 1:39 to 1:49 for example. I’m no racing expert, but to my eyes the driver has to make a mid corner correction through the double left and then a late corner entry through the right hander, possibly losing some valuable time. After Farnbacher exits the corner he can be seen banging the steering wheel in frustration. It’s mild, but when it comes to a record lap every tenth counts.
Then you have the handful of missed shifts. Under extreme pressure to put in a flying lap with little to no testing, it seems as if Farnbacher is trying to force the ACR to go faster. In doing so he misses a handful of shifts, a mistake we have all undoubtedly made. And while it’s understandable, there is no doubt that each one of those missed shifts is lost time. The ACR is already at a massive disadvantage being a standard manual transmission going against a bunch of flappy paddles cars. Missing shifts just accentuates that fact even more. Hopefully with some more seat time this will become a non-issue on the official time lap.
Lastly, while no lap around ‘The Ring’ is easy, this one looked exceptionally difficult. While the hood camera would lead you to believe the ACR is planted and controlled, the helmet cam seems to suggest the exact opposite. Farnbacher appears to be wrestling the ACR in and out of every corner, like he’s wrangling a bear. While any hot lap will look like a lot of work, this seems like more than normal. Especially when you consider the ACR being known for its incredible grip. This can be attributed to a slew of things, but could well be caused by a greasy surface from all the rain prior to the lap. Once again, we can only hope the next time around everything, including the weather, goes much smoother.
Until then, enjoy another hot lap around ‘The Green Hell.’ I don’t know how anyone puts in a good lap with out being distracted at least once, it has to be one of the most incredible views directly from the tarmac.