2010 Dodge Viper ACR-X

2010 Dodge Viper ACR-X

Last year’s Dodge Viper Cup Series has gotten a name change, and it’s back for 2012 as the SRT Viper Cup Series, still presented by Pennzoil Ultra. The name isn’t all that’s changed, since new rules are designed to make racing even more competitive than before.

As in previous years, the season will consist of ten races over five race weekends. Unlike last year, however, there will be no qualifying sessions for Sunday’s race; instead, an inverted grid will be used, based on the results from Saturday’s race.

If you’re one of the series’ top dogs, that can’t be good news. Charging from the back of the field to the front may add a challenge (and it makes for exciting racing on television), but it comes with an increased risk of crashes, never a good thing in grass roots motorsports.

Easing the pain for entrants is contingency money from SRT, Mopar and Michelin, which ranges from $6,000 (in cash and vouchers) for a win to $300 for a tenth-place finish. Like the $800 per race entry fee, the contingency program payout remains the same as last season.

The series is open to anyone with a 2010 Dodge Viper ACR-X, of which only 50 units were built. The ACR-X takes the Viper American Club Racer and adds similar safety equipment to that found in the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe. Compared to regular Vipers, the ACR-X makes 40 more horsepower and weighs 160 pounds less.

Also returning in 2012 is the Celebrity Driver Charity Payout program, which puts an SRT-trained celebrity behind the wheel of a Viper Cup car while raising money for charity.

Up to two celebrity drivers will be entered into each event, with the highest placing celebrity earning $2,000 for the National Breast Cancer Coalition, the official charity of the Viper Cup Series. Even the under-performing celebrity will earn $1,000 for the series’ charity, and nearly $80,000 has been raised by the program to date.

The 2012 SRT Viper Cup Series Presented By Pennzoil Ultra kicks off on April 14 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.