from World Challenge GT at Mid-Ohio
Cindi Lux (Aloha, Ore.) finished a frustrating weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a frustrating finish. The 11-time road racing champion left the Lexington facility with a 28th-place finish after a gearbox malfunction on the 19th lap. Lux entered the one-hour Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) SPEED World Challenge race weekend with high expectations for the No. 2 Team Mopar Dodge Viper Competition Coupe. However, Lux's third race of 2008 SPEED World Challenge GT season got off to a difficult to start when the Mopar Dodge Viper Comp. Coupe was struck from behind in the first practice session on Friday. The impact caused substantial damage to the left-rear of the car. While the exact cause for the malfunction of the six-speed gearbox in Sunday's race cannot be confirmed there is speculation that the issue may be a result of Friday's on-track incident.
Only three laps into the weekend, the 1999 American Le Mans Series' Women's Global GT Series Champion was under braking deep in the brake zone at turn seven when she was hit from behind. The impact raised the Team Mopar Viper off the track; Lux teetered momentarily on the nose of the second car and then spun violently off course. Once back to the paddock, the NayKid Racing team went to work to repair the No. 2 for the day's second practice and qualifying session the next day. Drawing heavily from the Mopar parts catalog, the Fred Lux-led crew repaired the rear bodywork blending the undamaged Mopar liquid metal livery with newly finished pieces. Beyond the cosmetic repairs, the Northwest-based team patched the aerodynamic undertray of the Viper and replaced much of the left-rear suspension. What could not be inspected was the gearbox that directs the brute power of the Dodge V10 to the rear wheels. Following the loss of third gear during the event, conjecture led to whether the shockwave of the impact made its way deeper into the chassis' internals than could be determined during the on-site inspection. The fatigue due to the damage then reared its head during the race. The No. 89 Lux Performance group, LLC-prepared Dodge Viper Comp. Coupe of World Challenge rookie Fred Roberts (Mississauga, ON. Canada) finished 14th.
Originally used in the 1920s, Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for a line of antifreeze products in 1937. Today, Chrysler LLC's Global Service & Parts division is responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of nearly 250,000 authentic Mopar replacement parts, components and accessories for Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge vehicles sold around the world. To assure quality, reliability and durability, all Mopar parts and accessories are designed in strict adherence to Chrysler Engineering standards.
The Mid-Ohio round of the GT championship can be seen on SPEED Channel at 1 pm (ET), July 24. Live timing and scoring can be found at: World-Challenge.com.
QuotesCindi Lux: "It's one of those weekends in racing that you hate to encounter but they do happen at times. The Mopar Viper certainly took a good whack in practice. Even though it was unintentional by the other driver it certainly was unnecessary and set us back. Our team and Mopar are going to analyze the gearbox failure to see what caused the problem and make the necessary changes in the future. If it wasn't the hit, we don't want to get any more DNFs. While you hate for things like this to happen it really does show the level of commitment of our group. The guys on the crew did a fantastic job getting the car back to where I could drive it. Everyone from Mopar and Dodge Motorsports jumped in to help out. We had what we needed to get the Team Mopar Dodge Viper back out on track. That's the only good that can come out of something like this. These types of results are extremely frustrating but we can grow as a team to become better and stronger for our next race."