The SRT Viper Cup Series will kick off in April with a more competitive edge.
The Dodge Viper Cup Series is returning this year under a new guise. Pennzoil Ultra will still present the event, but this season it will be called the SRT Viper Cup Series. Along with a name change, some new rules have been implemented to make the racing more competitive. They'll be ten races over five race weekends as before, but this time there's no qualifying sessions for Sunday's race. Instead the results from Saturday's race will be used to form an inverted grid.
So the prize of winning on Saturday will be charging from the back of the field on Sunday; exciting for viewers no doubt but an increased risk of crashes for those competing. Contingency money from SRT, Mopar and Michelin ranges from $6,000 for a win to $300 for finishing tenth. Anyone with a 2010 Dodge Viper ACR-X and an $800 per race entry fee can enter the series. Only 50 of these cars were built, based on the Viper American Club Racer but with added safety gear found in the Viper Competition Coupe. The ACR-X also produces an additional 40hp and weighs 160 pounds less.
The Celebrity Driver Charity Payout program also returns for 2012, which will see an SRT-trained celebrity in a Viper Cup car in order to raise money for charity. No more than two celebrities will race with the highest placing earning $2,000 for the Viper Cup Series' official charity: the National Breast Cancer Coalition. The under-performing celebrity will be rewarded with $1,000 for the same charity. The 2012 SRT Viper Cup Series starts on 14 April at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.