There may not be a 2011 Dodge Viper (the car returns in 2012), but there will still be a 2011 Viper Cup. After finding some success with the first year of its one-make race series, Dodge announced today it will revive the Viper-centric races next spring.
“The first season of Dodge Viper Cup series was simply awesome and a great learning experience,” Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of the Dodge brand, said in a prepared statement. “We’re going to keep building on that momentum in 2011 with an expanded contingency program, a reduction in entry fees, and the continuation of our successful celebrity driver and charity payout programs to once again generate lots of serious excitement for all Viper enthusiasts.”
Like last year’s series, competitors will take to the track in the 2010 Viper ACR-X, a turnkey race version of the production 2010 Viper ACR. Each car is identically built from the gutted interior on down to the 640-horsepower, 8.4-liter V-10, meaning drivers will have to rely upon skill, preparation, and luck — not mechanical dominance — to emerge victorious.
As was the case last year, the 2011 Viper Cup season is comprised of five different two-race weekends, but Dodge has seen fit to throw a number of new road courses into the mix to help challenge drivers. The season kicks off on May 13 at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, before moving to the New Jersey Motorsports Park (June 10-12), the Virginia International Raceway (July 8-10), the Texas World Speedway (September 2-4), and the Daytona International Speedway (October 21-23).
Want to be a part of the action? You’ll first need to get a hold of an ACR-X, which will run you roughly $110,000, but entry fees are reasonable for a full-fledged series. Drivers will need to shell out $800 per weekend to compete, which is down from last year’s $1400-per-weekend fee. Better yet, payouts have been expanded to the top ten positions instead of the top five — but, as a result, the actual award prizes have shrunk slightly. A first place finish nets a driver $4000 cash and a $1000 Mopar parts voucher, roughly $2500 less in cash than last year. The winning driver at the end of the season also walks away with $10,000 in cash.