Too bad it couldn’t quite beat the Lamborghini Huracan Performante as the new Nurburgring king.
The Dodge Viper is now officially dead. Last month, the factory closed its doors for good, marking the end of an era for one of America’s most seminal sports cars. We’ve seen the last ever model roll off the production line, and now you can watch the Viper’s final farewell lap at the Nurburgring. Dodge refused to unleash the Viper back onto the Green Hell to chase a new official lap record, but thanks to an independent team of enthusiasts and a successful crowdfunding campaign, the sports car was brought back from the dead to provide the sendoff it deserves.
The target? That would be the Lamborghini Huracan Performante, the current Nurburgring production car lap record holder with a time of six minutes and 52.01 seconds. The initial privateer attempt by racing duo Dominic and Mario Farnbacher beat the Viper’s previous lap record, setting an impressive time of seven minutes and 3.45 seconds. This still fell short of the Huracan’s time of six minutes and 52.01 seconds, but the team refused to give up. A subsequent run resulted in a slightly faster time of seven minutes and 3.23 seconds, but the team believed that hot weather was still holding the Viper back from unleashing its full potential.
Then there was renewed hope that the Viper could beat the Huracan Performnate, as an even quicker time of seven minutes and 1.3 seconds was posted. The team was confident that even more speed could be extracted to set a sub seven-minute time, but it wasn’t to be as driver Lance Arnold experienced a tire issue at 160 mph on the final day.
This caused the Viper to veer into the guardrail and ruin the record attempt. Sadly, the Viper's final 7.01.3 time means it can’t be declared as the new Nurburgring king, but as you can see from this newly released on-board video of the fastest lap, the driver pushed the sports car hard around the challenging course. Had the team not faced these unfortunate setbacks, the Viper could well have set a sub-seven minute time. Still, such a valiant attempt would make Viper enthusiasts proud. Plus we can now say this is the fastest time ever recorded at the Nurburgring by an American car which isn’t too far off the Porsche 918 Spyder, even if it isn’t an official time.