ELKHART LAKE, Wisc., August 11, 2008 - "In this corner, weighing-in at 3,250 pounds the No. 2 Team Mopar Dodge Viper Competition Coupe of Cindi 'Cin-Bad' Lux. In this corner, the European contender from the island of Great Britain the Aston Martin!" Sunday's Road America Road Race Showcase Featuring SPEED GT could have best been promoted as a 'battle royale' between the biggest names in automobile manufacturing. In a race that saw two cars fully engulfed in flames, Cindi Lux (Aloha, Ore.) brought the Mopar Parts Viper across the finish line battered but still standing in ninth-place. The result marks the 1999 American Le Mans Series Women's Global GT Champion's third top-10 of 2008 including a top-five in Salt Lake City.
Road America's 4.048-mile, 14-turn has traditionally been very successful for Lux. In her three previous starts at the Elkhart Lake, Wisc.-track, the 12-time road racing champion has won twice - both in the prestigious Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) June Sprints. The Northwest-based operation struggled early in the weekend with the setup searching for the right combination that would allow them to unleash the potential of the Dodge Viper Comp. Coupe. Prior to qualifying, team manager and crew chief Fred Lux (Aloha, Ore.) found the right direction and Lux put the Team Mopar machine onto the grid in tenth position. Lux would spin the tires at the traditional World Challenge standing start. The delay in launching the V10-powered machine quickly cost Lux two positions. Lux unleashed a charge that brought her back into the top-10 and eventually to ninth despite the carnage that rained down all around her. A door handle-to-door handle pushing match between Lux's American-made supercar and Great Britain's best, an Aston Martin, proved to be one of the most exciting battles of the day. Like two wrestlers climbing to the top of the ropes before the other, the pair leaned on one-another trying to get the advantage. That battle was just one of many happening all-around the traditional, and fast, Road America facility. In fact, the war raged so hotly that two cars caught fire during the one hour race. The checkered-flag flew in concert with the final of three caution flags that plagued the day's event.
While not without its scars, the Team Mopar Viper left Road America in, relatively, one piece. The Mopar entry will now travel to its summer shop outside of Detroit to make minor repairs and prepare for back-to- back events in Canada and Detroit. Lux, the only road racing member of Team Mopar, will compete next on August 24 at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont., Canada and follow a week later on the Detroit's Belle Isle on August 30.
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 Road America round of the GT championship can be seen on SPEED Channel at 12 pm (ET), August 20. Live timing and scoring can be found at: www.World-Challenge.com.
Cindi Lux: "Road America was more war than road racing. This was a very physical race. There was a lot of bizarre driving by top-10 drivers. It was pretty intense but it was a lot of fun. For me, personally, I am going to put a call into my Mopar drag racing brothers because I got a terrible start! I was way too aggressive on the throttle and spun the wheels coming off the line and I lost several positions at the start. The Mopar Viper took its beating and banging during the race but rebounded great. We'll clean it up and head to Mosport. If this type of racing continues at Mosport, it will be one crazy event! I'm looking forward to keeping the Team Mopar Viper right in the middle of it all."