Hello Everybody and welcome to a new series I’m starting called “Steve’s Racing Concepts”.
This will be a series where I won’t be talking about news or race results or groaning about IMSA’s BOP or CTCC, but rather hypotheticals and just general musing.
The range of topics that I could talk about can be far reaching. For example I could talk about:
- Hypothetical race series
- Hypothetical spec’s of race cars
- “What if…” scenarios (for example; “what if [OEM] made a [Spec car they currently don’t have]?”)
- Original ideas for track layouts and configurations, or tweaks to existing tracks
- Hypothetical race events (one off races or additions to existing series)
This will be something that I will try to write on slow news weeks or if the moment strikes me. You will also see a lot of original content here apart from my photography that I include in normal posts, BiteSized and SPO’s.
Now without further delay, here is the debut blog post:
As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I used to be the team manager for the officially sanctioned SRT Motorsports virtual team on Xbox and Forza Motorsport. It was something that had a great impact on my life. Now this doesn’t really have anything to do with this post apart from a bit of context. I competed in a race before all of that started for a team that badged their Le Mans Prototype with an SRT engine. Now, this was online, and one could do this and even say the car was powered by pixie dust. It’s not real, so it was just for living out some sort of fantasy.
At the height of VSRT, I pondered what the next steps for the Dodge Motorsport division could be. Granted, they had pulled out of NASCAR, and it seemed logical for them to attempt to bring it back. Apart from the ALMS GTLM program, Dodge had also commissioned some TA2 cars that dominated in the hands of Cameron Lawerence. At the same time, Chevrolet had unveiled the Corvette DP in GrandAm, and I thought “why couldn’t Dodge do that?”
With the myriad of DP constructors at the time, all you really needed was an engine to slap into a chassis and call it a day. With Dodge already partnering with Riley to make the Viper GT3 and GTE cars, it was almost a match made in heaven. Dodge looks fondly on their overall victory at Daytona with the 1st GTS-R, you’d think they would try to make the leap.
Unfortunately, that was never going to happen. As was reported then, when the Viper wasn’t selling, they rolled the price back by about $15,000. This extra $15,000 was basically the entire funding for Dodge’s motorsport endeavours, but I digress.
Now, in school I happened to use this inspiration for a final project, of which you can see the end result below (yes I actually marker-rendered that). Let me introduce the Dodge Viper DP-SR!
Based on the Riley MkXXVI Gen3.5 DP chassis, this could have been one of the better looking cars on the Tudor United Sportscar Championship. Powered by the GT3 spec 8.0L V10, it would have been the biggest engine in a DP ever. With the regulations only permitting up to a 5.5L engine, IMSA would have had to give Dodge a waiver (like they received from the ACO for both iterations of the Viper GTS-R), and dialed back to 600hp. The standard Riley MkXXVI bodywork being replaced with bodywork inspired by the road going car.
Now let’s ponder why this couldn’t have happened.
First off, Dodge had no more money for the Viper racing program, let alone an entirely new prototype program. As relatively cheap as the DP formula was, it still wouldn’t have been inexpensive enough to happen. Could they have pawned off the program to Riley, like they eventually did for the Viper GT3-R? Sure, but as dead in the water as the Viper road car was around this time; any support for anything closely related to the road car as possible would have taken priority anyway.
Secondly, this would have been too late for a new DP program in general. The ‘vette and Ford Ecoboost DP’s were introduced a year or two before the unification of GrandAm and ALMS, and were essentially grandfathered into TUSC. They would have only been around for another year or two, so as far as a return on investment is concerned, there basically wouldn’t have been one at all.
Alas, this would have only lived on in fantasy. Although at this point, I’d just like to see Dodge come back to motorsport at all. On that front, I have a feeling we won’t see anything outside of NHRA for many years to come.
If you liked this format for a new series, please let me know in the comments below!
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