with Top 10 at Road Atlanta
Mopar Enjoys Strong World Challenge Season Racing Dodge Viper Competition Coupe
Cindi Lux (Aloha, Ore.) closed the 2008 Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) SPEED World Challenge GT season with a ninth-place finish at Road Atlanta. The impressive run marked the fifth time this year that Lux has piloted the No. 2 Team Mopar Dodge Viper Competition Coupe to a Top 10 result in a season limited to only eight races. In classic Road Atlanta fashion, Lux's race came down to a side-by-side fight for supremacy in the closing laps. With one lap to go Lux was challenging for eighth but had to give-up the pursuit in order to hold ninth-place. Despite being hit in the left rear with three turns to go, Lux held on for her third ninth-place finish of the season. The battle would leave a lasting memory for those watching the sole road racing member of Team Mopar in the closing laps. Lux was the second-highest finishing Viper in the season-finale of the road car-based series.
Team Mopar Dodge Viper Comp. Coupe at Road Atlanta. Image by Jeff Boerio After a frustrating race last week at New Jersey, Lux was eager to race at the ultra-quick Road Atlanta. The 2.54-mile, 12-turn facility has always been a favorite of the northwest-based driver and Dodge has celebrated some of its greatest victories on the North Georgia circuit. Like Lux, the fast and flowing track plays well to the strong suits of the Michigan-built, V10-powered Viper Comp. Coupe. Lux qualified a frustrated 14th for the 50-minute race but quickly made up ground. An impressive launch in the customary World Challenge standing start rocketed Lux through turn one and up the hill ahead of many of her competitors. From there, the Mopar entry held its ground in a wheel-to-wheel battle for positions six through ten that grew in intensity with each lap. The fight began to reach its peak with three laps remaining when the Lux Performance Group, LLC.-prepared American supercar hounded two of Germany's best; the Porsche 911. The Mopar two-seater lobbed its challenge on seventh and eighth-place from ninth, in the process turning a personal best lap just 0.7 seconds off the winner's best lap. The white flag fell over the quartet of cars with seventh through tenth places running nose-to-tail. Lux drew deep from the well of the Viper's torque pulling onto Road Atlanta's long backstraight. She brought the liquid metal liveried-Mopar ride alongside the eighth- place Porsche coming down the hill entering the turns 10A and 10B complex. Digging for every opportunity, Lux put two wheels off the side of the track as the Viper split the air at 160 miles per hour. As the dust cloud of red Georgia clay kicked-up behind her, Lux would have to pull from the assault on eighth to defend her position from increasing pressure. Detroit cross-town rivalries now took center-stage as the Corvette of Tomi Drissi thought he saw an opening to pass Lux. The two cars touched with the GM-entry tagging the left rear of the Viper turning Lux sideways. Knowing there were only three more turns left in the season, Lux kept her foot planted on the Mopar throttle of the Viper Comp. Coupe. Dropping down gears to maintain the engine's power and the Viper's "bull's- eye" nose pointed towards the finish line, Lux held the car on track and the 'Vette behind her to take the checkered flag ninth.
In only her second season of SPEED World Challenge competition, 2008 was an impressive year for Lux. Despite not traveling to two events, the 1999 American Le Mans Series Women's Global GT Series Champion finished 14th in the season-long points championship. Lux earned 458 driver's points and helped Dodge secure fourth in the manufacturers championship with its Viper Competition Coupe. The 12-time road racing champion had a season-high start (third) and finish (fifth) at Miller Motorsports Park and earned both the Racing Electronics Holeshot Award and the Sunoco Hard Charger Award at Detroit.
The exciting final round of the 2008 SPEED GT championship can be seen on SPEED Channel at 1 PM (ET), October 15.
QuotesCindi Lux: About Road Atlanta: "The Mopar Viper was absolutely on rails in the race. The team of wizards on our crew just nailed the setup on the car. It ran flawlessly all race and it was a privilege to wheel this Viper around the race track. Both on the track and off it was a great weekend for us. The fans at Road Atlanta are so incredible, especially the Mopar enthusiasts. Our tent was filled all weekend long with both young and lifelong Mopar fans asking all sorts of great questions. That really makes these races fun."About the season: "Being the last race of the year is kind of bittersweet. We have some strong momentum going and now we have to stop for the year. It was a great way to end the season with our fifth Top 10 finish. The Team Mopar Viper was so good at Road Atlanta that I am going to be spending the winter months itching to get back in the car. I am looking forward to bringing this Mopar Dodge Viper Comp. Coupe back out at Sebring in '09."
Mike Stephens, Program Manager, Mopar Motorsports: "This was a fantastic final outing for the 2008 season. Road Atlanta is a legendary venue and a demanding track. It's great that Cindi added another Top 10 finish. It's clear that she's become more and more comfortable in the Mopar Competition Coupe as the season has progressed and the NayKid Racing team has done a great job preparing the car for each event. It's been a great season and I'm really happy to have been able to be a part of it."