A Vicious Time Attack Viper ACR
It seems that most people who buy exotic supercars are collectors that occasionally show up to car shows with a low-mileage vehicle that is 99.99% locked-up in a fancy garage. It’s sad to think of what those cars are capable of and how they become museum pieces instead of living and racing in the environments they were created for. Roy Narvaez, the owner of this 2015 Viper ACR TA, is into racing, and (thankfully) his Viper rarely rests. “I compete in my favorite racing sport, global time attack, as often as possible,” Narvaez said.
It makes sense that Narvaez is into cars that might do well in time attack races, but there are many vehicles that fit that bill. “I did quite a bit of research and was looking to purchase a newer Acura NSX, but once I saw this Viper I changed my mind. The Viper had nothing but good reviews posted for it—so, I checked one out and ended up with the Viper,” Narvaez said. With an 8.4L all-aluminum, naturally-aspirated V10 engine that produces 645hp and 600 lb-ft of torque (the most torque of any n/a sports-car engine in the world) it delivers plenty of power. And, with the TA aero package, the rear wing alone creates 400 pounds of downforce at 150 mph.
Each Viper is built to order, so Narvaez picked up his 2015 ACR with the Time Attack 2.0 Aerodynamics package in 2016. “I chose all the bells and whistles: plenty of carbon fiber and their new ‘Y’Orange’ color. Total delivery time took about five months,” Narvaez said. “I was competing at Road Atlanta when I got the call that the car was ready at the dealership—I couldn’t wait to drive it and drove straight from the airport to the dealer to pick it up.” Only 32 TA 2.0s of each of the three exterior colors were offered, and as Dodge's official media release said, "the TA is specifically built for performance enthusiast drivers who like to exercise their machines at the more than 150 road-race courses cross America."
Dodge claims the car is ready to race from the moment it leaves the dealership. But, did the car meet Narvaez’s expectations, and how does it do on the racetrack? “My thing is big horsepower and a lot of aero, so I got the extreme aero package that has all the diffusers, wings and canards,” Narvaez said. “I thought I knew what aero felt like until I drove the Viper around the track. The grip and control is incredible. I never felt anything like it. All that aero added so much confidence.”
Speaking of confidence, he had a lot to say about how tires can affect a trip around the track. “I used Nitto NT01s in the past on my old 2009 GTR and ran some of my personal bests on those tires—they’re the best 100 tread wear tire available. They’re sticky yet they still last on the street," Narvaez said. “So I put Nitto NT01 tires on my Viper and they totally helped me on the track. When you heat them up they get very sticky which can give you additional confidence on the track. They really do. Good tire feel is one of the keys to racing hard. You know you can push the car harder and harder.”
It’s a great track car and it is street legal, but it doesn’t do everything well. “The side exhaust is right under your seat and it heats up your butt real bad. So, then you have to roll down the windows or turn on the AC all the time. There are no speakers in the doors, and all the audio that’s left is three little tweeters with no bass whatsoever—audio is terrible. Plus, it’s so low that it scrapes on everything—I have to be really careful off the track,” Narvaez said. “I love the car, it’s sexy, and it goes around the track great.”