On Safari in Daytona Beach, Florida

Written by editor on . Posted in 2011, Nov/Dec 2011

When it comes to auto racing, I’ve never been a huge fan.  that was until I experienced the Viper Cup Racing League and Viper Days (NARRA) this last month at the Daytona Speedway.

I’m sure you remember a little blurb in last month’s Viper Magazine about a young man named Dominik Farnbacher. He took a stock Viper ACR and captured back the production car lap record at the Nurburgring….

Well, as President of the VCA Ohio Region I’m always trying to find ways of raising capital so that we can do events throughout the year. I had an idea, so I contacted Dominik Farnbacher to see if he would help us with producing some autographed banners commemorating the record at the Nurburgring. He was happy to help. One thing though, Dominik is in Germany and I’m in Ohio. To solve this problem Dominik invited me to meet him in Daytona for the final 2011 Viper Cup race that he was driving in.

Now it was time for me to play Daktari. I jumped in my Land Rover Defender (actually one cleverly disguised as a Lincoln Town Car) picked up the banners from Sam Goldfarb and headed down to Daytona Beach, Florida to see the Dodge Viper in it’s natural habitat. Some of my VCA Ohio friends Jim and Kathy Stout, David Pintaric, and VCA IN/KY friend Mansen Way were also heading down to Daytona.

I’d never been to a Viper Cup race or a Viper Days (NARRA ) event before. The first thing that was very impressive is that you can go right down and walk through the garages and talk to the drivers and their crews. No formalities. Everyone was singing out of the same hymn book, the Viper hymn book. Husband and wife team Jim and Kathy Stout own Coastal Pet Products Motor Sports. Jim races in the GT1 class, and Kathy races in GT2. They brought both of their Viper Comp Coupes and their Viper ACR-X. David Pintaric brought his SCCA STO Viper Coupe and was pulling some of the fastest lap times at Daytona. Mansen Way was getting his feet wet with his “Frankenstein” Viper. It was originally a convertible, turned coupe, turned race car. Mansen was participating in the Viper Days event in conjunction with the Viper Cup weekend. Jim won the GT1 Championship and Kathy came in 2nd in GT2 for the year. David Pintaric came in 3rd in his race on Saturday. Dominik won Saturday’s Viper Cup Race. He made it look as effortless as his video from the Nurburgring. Ben Keating won the Viper Cup Championship for 2011.

Vipers at Daytona Speedway is like seeing animals run in the wild. Of course most of us see our Vipers at shows or like animals at the zoo.  What these cars are capable of doing in their natural habitat is breathtaking.  And the way these drivers can control these beasts is an art for in and of itself.

So my advice to you is to go to www.narraonline.com and get yourself to a Viper Days (NARRA) or a Viper Club Race in 2012.  You’ll never look at your Viper in the same way again.

It was a GREAT trip.  Dominik signed all the banners and we sold them out in less than 48 hours, and in three short days I developed a whole new appreciation for my Viper.

“I love it when a plan comes together…”

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