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