The second Viper, driven by Nurburgring expert Lance Arnold, managed to set a new record on his first lap for the fastest American-built rear-wheel-drive manual-transmission cars. Granted, that title seems a bit bespokely manufactured, but it’s still better than nothing.
The driver nailed a 7:01.3 time in the first try, but as he was starting to feel the goal was within reach, the car was hit with technical problems. The front left tire had a sidewall failure at 160 mph in a corner. If that’s not a recipe for disaster, we don’t know what is. Arnold was able to save the car, but the Viper did scratch the guard rail lightly with its left side. It was enough to send the car back on the track and slamming into the Armco on the right. This second impact was serious, and the car was done for. Airbags popped – since it was a production vehicle – and the whole adventure was over.
If you followed the report closely, you might have noticed we talked about there being two cars. Yes, except that one had a very similar tire failure on the final straight even before Arnold’s run. And you know what the funny part is (at least for those not involved)? The main sponsor of the team was Kumho Tires. That’s the perfect example of you best intentions backfiring as we’re pretty sure nobody who heard about two tire failures within the same hour would ever go near that brand.
In the end, the guys behind the Viper Ring Record Run were left heart broken, feeling as though the time could have been beaten had they been less unlucky. Since this was a crowd funded effort and it resulted in unforeseen expenses, a second attempt is out of the question. Who knows, maybe they’ll do it with the Viper’s successor in a few years.