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Watkins Glen 2013 GTS Pace Car "NIGHTMARE"?!?

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Watkins Glen 2013 GTS Pace Car "NIGHTMARE"?!?
Old May 21st, 2013, 01:03 PM   #1
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Watkins Glen 2013 GTS Pace Car "NIGHTMARE"?!?

Im just back from NARRA Watkins Glen, and courtesy of SRT I had the privilige to use a 2013 GTS "Mule" from the SRT endurance testing fleet as an Official Pace Car Friday-Sat-Sunday. A bit more on the "Nightmare" in a moment....

This serpent had the cockpit-adjustable dual-mode shocks, and had clocked 37000+ miles in testing. Newer Pirelli P-zeros, it was NOT a production-quality Viper, but it was still a damn-nice Snake! Sapphire Blue, Silver Stripes, Sepia-cognac-leather. Driven to NY 600 miles from MI by none other than engine-guru Dick Winkles. [ "600HP Dick" to his insider friends.]

The SRT mission at The Glen was product testing for a planned MoPar PCM. Dick Winkles was seemingly writing code for 3 days, as he fine-tuned the parameters for a 'better sounding' PCM, and preliminary dyno runs show 10-12 HP gained, as well as some torque and RPM redline increases. The G4 PCM (08-10) had left a little to be desired in SOUND, since the fuel-cutoff was complete and instant, resulting in a loss of that melodic "burble" that so many owners love, but combustion enginers don't. SRT listened to its customers, and the G5 PCM will have a great Burble.....we had 50 witnesses!

The nightmare...... Imagine you are an SRT Engineer who gave up his weekend to go and help pace a Viper Cup race at The Glen. Now, imagine this engineer not only was at the 91 and 96 Indy 500 as part of the Viper Pace Car efforts, but has also been at many Viper Cup events since 2010.

You'ld be expecting to see and pace some Vipers, right? NOT SO FAST!! Just before the first Cup Race on Saturday, Watkins Glen asked us if we could again help pace a charity fundraiser called "Thunder Road". Car clubs can take touring laps for a fee, and funds go to charity. Doris and I had a blast doing the pacing last year, and I was pretty sure SRT would like to be up front.

But when Dick Winkles glanced in his side-view mirror the first time, and saw a fleet of 40-50 Corvettes coming up behind us, his first words were "This could be a nightmare scenario for a Viper engineer!'' Well, I guess so!! But NOT to worry.....

In any case, some of the group bought 3 laps, and half the group paid for 6. At the midpoint we stopped at the Start-Finish for photo ops, and the G5GTS did a slow-pass while decelerating to 'show off' the OE exhasut burble with the PCM mule echoing off the walls. With ONE exception, the vette-audience liked the sound. So did I.....not poppy or backfirey, but a nice, muscley sounding BLBLBLLBBLLLBBBblblblblbl as you pass thru 2400 rpm to idle. Awesome.

The Vette crowd asked a bunch of questions, a few sat in the Viper, they took a bunch of photos, and most gave us a thumbs-up as we burbled away... V-10 envy was apparent that day, and I doubt that Dick had any nightmares.....

PICTURES! Of COURSE I HAVE PIX, POSTED A FEW POSTS BELOW....thanks Kala

email][email protected][/email]

Last edited by JonB~~~:<~; May 22nd, 2013 at 02:12 PM.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 09:34 PM   #2
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I have a pic- passed them on 90 just east of Cleveland on monday. Beautiful car!

Sent from AutoGuide.com App
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Old May 21st, 2013, 11:41 PM   #3
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Nice to come across you again last Saturday at the NARRA event. I heard there was a blue 2013 Viper in the paddock from Tom Sessions and of course never seeing the new Gen 5 in person I had to find it. A few laps around the paddock and I'm going hhmmm can't find it. All of a sudden wife says whats that thing that says Official Pace Car from a distance? Wow not the blue I was looking for (thinking 96 GTS blue) and I must have walked by it a few times. Jon ushered me right into the drivers seat and started explaining all the details. What stuck in my mind most was no plastic anywhere and the smell still of a new baseball glove. 2nd pic is a friend from Oklahoma running the Raffle Comp Coupe still looking good and being used for what it is meant for.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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Thanks for posting those pics! Small-world story indeed...

Hoosier, I agree that after 37K+ miles it still smells new. The "Shadow" Sapphire blue looks black under overcast skies, til you look closely. Lots of fine metallic in it. The sun pops the bluish undertone. Looks like the 2001-02 Sapphire Blue to me, but a bit more metallic.

The suspension in this PVP mule is stiffer than the GTS Launch Ed I had at Road Atlanta...that was a production-quality car in every way, and was the GTS-Blue/white.

I do have some good pix with the vettes, BELOW..... The Winkles Pix shos the BLUE !!!

Last edited by JonB~~~:<~; May 22nd, 2013 at 02:04 PM.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 11:36 AM   #5
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Thanks Viper-Girl Kala!











SRT Engine Guru Dick Winkles programming the MoPar PCM
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 11:47 AM   #6
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Great pics! I'm sad that I didn't make it to watkins this weekend- I live near it right now. But I knew that car from a distance as soon as I saw it! Beautiful ride!
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 02:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Recluse View Post
Great pics! I'm sad that I didn't make it to watkins this weekend- I live near it right now. But I knew that car from a distance as soon as I saw it! Beautiful ride!
Only an SRT-beater! I actually bought some spray-detailer carnauba and microfiber and went to work on Friday....also added the signage and flags etc.... the SRT guys were at once mocking me, as well as appreciative...GLAD we did it since the Syracuse Vette Club got up-close....

Please notice the heavy mettalic and the deep Blue in the DICK WINKLES picture above.... I used a flash, and it revealed the sunny-day color.

Last edited by JonB~~~:<~; May 22nd, 2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 02:30 PM   #8
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Love the pic of the Vettes trailing behind the Viper!
Thanks for sharing Jon!
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 09:36 PM   #9
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Cool story! Is Dodge trying to sell a stock tune or will they just update this tune to all?
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 04:23 PM   #10
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Cool story! Is Dodge trying to sell a stock tune or will they just update this tune to all?
The net result will be a stand-alone Gen-5 Performance PCM, to replace the OE Gen 5 PCM. {Keep your OE to pass emissions} It will be labeled "For Off-Road-Use-Only." A similiar product is available for Gen 4 now, and a very different one for Gen 3.

A Performance PCM was also avail for Gen 2, but looong ago sold out, and triple-discontinued many years ago.
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