What do you get when you combine a group of Viper Club of America (VCA) autocross champs with SRT Engineers, and you let them loose on the course with a set of three Dodge Vipers?
You get one thing for sure: one heck of a fun day.
Thats exactly what happened recently when the annual tradition to bring together SRT Engineers with regional VCA autocross champs kicked off at the Chelsea Proving Grounds.
“This is a great tradition that we’ve had for many years now, ” said Mike Shinedling Viper Program Manager and the event coordinator. “It’s not so much about the competition as it is about having a chance to connect with our customers.”
Once again, those fine folks with SRT engineering showed up fully prepared to take on the Viper Club, Chris Marshall, National President for the Viper Club of America said jokingly. Not only did those rascals design, set up, and ‘trial’ the course in advance to make sure it worked perfectly, but then we learn they had even taken driving instruction over the years to help keep that trophy in Auburn Hills!
All jabs aside, the competitive spirit was overshadowed by the cars themselves and the teams combined celebration of engineering.
“Sometimes, we take it for granted how robust the Viper is, ” Shinedling added. “We spent hours of hard racing with these cars and they just kept going without a single problem. We never expect anything different. The Viper is incredibly reliable at the track. The car is underrated in that respect…at least by those who don’t have much experience with it.”
Marshall echoed the sentiment, adding: The VCA came out the real winners by being able to spend some real quality time with the folks that design and build our cars. We will happily take a drubbing every couple years if it means we can learn more about the people and processes that go into the Viper and the rest of the SRT product line.
But dont think the competitive spirit doesnt exist between these two highly skilled teams. Don’t be surprised to see several VCA folks honing their autocross skills more fervently in 2010, added Marshall. Because let’s face it Viper owners are more accustomed to taking home the win. :)”