Viper Nation

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RTTTTed On July - 19 - 2013

Race the Base 2012

with my “backup”  Viper

by Ted Hlokoff

 

After getting a ‘spanking’ from a 1000hp Twin Turbo Viper at the 2010 SSCC/Silver State Classic Challenge Open Road Rally halfmile shootout, I flew to Texas and bought a faster, more powerful TT Viper for myself.  I was really hoping to get a chance to run off against Ferraris, Lambos and Veyrons with this hugely overpowered Supercar.  I did beat a Veyron SS badly at the Mojave Mile.  I went 215mph to his 200mph.  My Twin Turbo Viper GTS was 3rd fastest car and fastest Street car at the weekend event in Mojave, Calif.

Then I received an invitation to Race the Base 2012.  I felt a desperate need to go spank some million dollar supercars.

I’d broken my GForce racing transmission at the Nevada Open Road Challenge collecting 2nd place trophy with a 175.5mph half-mile run.  I bought the parts and a local Anahim resident fixed my T56 transmission for me.  I added a transmission oiling system, but when I installed my rebuilt trans., the clutch release slave leaked fluid.  I bought another, but they sent me the wrong one.  After purchasing a further slave from Alberta for $600+ I installed that, but it failed.  Because I was leaving for the Race the Base event the next morning I called Dennis and asked that he come over to do the required safety inspection on my second Viper, which he did.  Immediately afterwards I installed my high speed tires (Michelin PS2s) onto my Roe Racing Supercharged Viper GTS, did an oil change, then packed a suitcase.  I’d done a complete inspection of my Viper that morning before doing my Dot 4 brake fluid flush (required safety procedure for the event).

720hp and 1500hp Viper GTSs

Although only half the power of my twin turbo Viper, the supercharged 720whp was respectable and my $3200 entry fee being sponsored by Doug Seal of Willowbrook Chrysler, I intended to put on a show and Dodge was going to be represented by a fast supercar, even if it wasn’t my insane 1500hp TT Viper.  With only a stock GTS and a 1997 Viper Venom 650R as the two other Chrysler products among the 88supercar entries I was easily the fastest Dodge going into this entertaining charity event.

Driving through the Rockies

Driving through the Rockies

I drove my Viper 800 miles to meet up with my buddy Trevor Cameron at his house in Leduc, Alberta.  He’d arranged some Viper Garage decals for our website display.  After a good night’s sleep we washed our Vipers, installed and admired the new decals.

Trevoer Cameron & I after washing our Vipers

Trevoer Cameron & I after washing our Vipers

Trevor drove his bright red Viper SRT10 to display at the various shows and carry our camera equipment at the event.  Trevor was my support staff and photographer for this article and was entered as Media.  We headed to the first car show in Edmonton, but ran into traffic problems and missed it.  We stopped in Edmonton north had lunch with another Viper buddy, Darryl Weflen, at his Airtek office.  We drove north east to our destination Hotel where we met up with Doug Seal, owner of Willowbrook Chrysler Jeep in Langley and sponsor of our entry fee.

We had driven through rain storms so we cleaned our Vipers in the parking lot, and then headed off to everyone’s favorite hamburger joint, the A & W for their Car Show.  It was well attended and we met Robert with his 97 Viper Venom 650R.  Rob purchased his Venom from Doug’s dealership the previous year.  Doug is an avid Chrysler Collector and sells a large number of Vipers, Prowlers, SRT10 pickups and classic cars as well.  Doug is one of the few dealerships that actively participate in Auto sports and car shows.  Doug had sponsored the entry fee which was exceptionally high because of the large donations paid to Charities.

A&W Car Show

A&W Car Show

1000hp TT Saleen

1000hp TT Saleen

Doug Seal at my Viper

Doug Seal at my Viper

 

The display cars filled the roads surrounding the A & W and we enjoyed speaking to the car people there.   After prizes were awarded we drove our cars back to the Hotel, had a drink in the lounge and went to bed.  We were to be at the 4 Wings Canadian Air Force Base for the driver’s meeting at 7am.

Unfortunately, by morning it was raining and we had to drive through road construction to get to the Event HQ on the runway apron.  The mandatory Driver’s meeting was in the huge green tent.  After we pulled through the security gate each of our tires were wiped off while being inspected for debris.  This was a safety precaution to keep pebbles and debris from the runway and out of the Jet’s turbines.   Each time we went through the gate our tires were inspected.  We parked in front of a hanger and went into the army tent.  There was no rush because of the rain so we washed our cars using the rain as a hose.  During the driver’s meeting the CF-18 pilot, Rambo, told us that although he was comfortable flying at Mach 3, he thought we were crazy going 300kph on the ground.  We lined up while waiting for the Kal Tire crew to check all wheel nut torques and every tire’s air pressure.  The Four Wings crew had parked a CF-18 fighter jet on the edge of the tarmac for photographic purposes and we took advantage of the opportunity to park my Sapphire Viper GTS beside the jet and shoot a few pics.  Even wet, the fighter jet and my Supercar looked ready to do Battle.  SRT’s homepage wrote on this picture, “One massively powered and the other owned by the government.”

CF18 and Viper

2nd group on the runway

2nd group on the runway

 

Thanks to Darryl Weflen, m

y Airtek Tshirt reads, “Black Sheep Racing.  Baddest of the Baaaaaad”.  We spent the morning doing meetings, instructions and going over the event plans.  Everyone got an instructor to give driving instructions and guidance during our runs.  Insurance covers “Driver’s Instruction” if there is an instructor in the car so that extra insurance was not required.  Our group started at the “Time Attack”  which was a combination autox with short road course.  We would launch from the start box and run between staggered water filled barricades, and then a hard right, another hard right and spinning around a cone head back to a stop box at the start.  First car was a Saleen 1000hp TT.  He took off well, went through the course quickly, but came to the stop box way too fast and skidded through it, spinning a donut through the cones and even scaring me a little.  But he was clear and there was no damage.  My run went quickly, although cautiously.  My stop box finish was perfect as I stopped a foot from the cones.  Trevor was doing his best to shoot pics from the spectator’s gallery over the cement ‘no posts’.

IMG_8641 (1024x456)

some of the supercars

some of the supercars

Next was the standing mile event.  When our group got there the tarmac was dry and I had a good run, shifting into 6th gear several seconds before the finish timers.  At the end of the 2.5 mi. runway I turned left, continuing to the next station, the Drift competition.  As my Mile instructor got out of my Viper he said, “Thank you, I loved that.”  When he’d gotten into my GTS he said, “I like the way the interior fits me.”  Guess he was impressed with the power, or my driving?  Ha-ha.

At the drift event, I watched in amazement as a 1400hp Lamborghini Gallardo drifted and spun out on the figure 8 course.  All wheel drive didn’t seem to be a problem for drifting.  When I said my thoughts to the McLaren driver he said that they were biased all wheel drive and had more power directed to the rear wheels allowing the drifting and donuts …   I love learning new car stuff.

Time Attack line-up

Time Attack Line-up

rain ...

rain …

Finally my turn, the instructor jumped into my Viper and told me to, “just accelerate a bit and bang the clutch pedal to break the tires loose, then apply even throttle to create a smooth drift around the cones.”  The clutch pedal banging was easy and I picked a good speed.  I practiced drifting for about 5 minutes and “had it” a few times.  As the instructor (a National Champion) got out of my car he said, “You almost have it.  A little more practice and you’ll have it down.”  That was end time for the day.

Friday night dinner was at the Officer’s Mess on the base.  I left my Viper on the Apron because I figured that no one was going to screw with it, being guarded by soldiers carrying M16s.  Doug picked me up in his rental car and we went to the “Fish Fry” put on by the guys in the Armed Forces.  Pike and Pickerel were the main menu items with various salads and desserts being the options.  We sat with Maj. Achim von Wiedner, Deputy Base Commander from Edmonton Canadian Forces Base.  Also at our table was the representative of the Soldier’s Survivor Charity that re-taught dismembered and maimed soldiers how to live according to their needs as well as help them get re-settled.  After dinner we got back to our Hotel, Trev and Doug had a drink in the bar (I did coffee) and went to bed.

Edm Base Ass Comander

Edm Base Ass Comander

Early Saturday we drove back to the Base.  Again, it was raining lightly, but forecasts were for dry weather.  After eating a tent breakfast we got coffee and attended the driver’s meeting.  Groups had been shuffled around, but tire pressure and torques were to be checked again.  I went through the tire check and my first group/event was the Drift.  As we lined up the rain stopped and the Jets finished drying the Mile runway with their afterburners.

Wetting the Drift course

I watched the McLaren and several Lambos drift before getting my turn on the course.  If any of the other drivers were trained at drifting I missed seeing it.  During my drifting, if I spun I would smack the throttle harder and spin a full donut because drifting is about entertainment, not timing or speed.  I had a few ‘Ken Block’ moments when it felt like my front bumper locked to the cone as I drifted to, and around it.  Finishing that event the Instructor thought that another short practice was all I needed to be an expert.

ViperJeff photoshop

ViperJeff photoshop

Lining up at the Time Attack we had to wait for instructors before running our timed event.  I watched Rob Sinneave run in his Viper Venom 650R.  He had a good run but being down on hp (557whp) compared to mine he was slower.  The drift competition was an “optional” event and not mandatory.  Rob had felt it would be too hard on his car and ‘passed’ on the drift.  I felt that I had a good Time Attack run because my Viper really loves the high speed.  I’m sure the instructor was nervous as I drifted through the cement barricades sideways.  The course was pretty dry and I know my car handles very well. I’ve done several AutoXs and felt I ran a great time in this event.  After a single run through the Time Attack our group headed past the spectator crowd to line up and run our standing Mile.

Time Attack

Time Attack

In front of me Zahir was running his Ferrari F40 which had a “717hp” License plate and the body looked to have a very thin carbon fiber shell with a clear Lexan engine cover.  The car did perform well and sounded strong as he took off (279kph/173mph mile).  Rob lined up and raced off in his Venom 650R and fell behind a Ferrari but turned a 262.6kph/162mph mile.  Shortly after that I was up.  I watched a few Ferrari Italia 458s (278kph mile) run off, a couple of Beamers (249 & 268kph miles) and a woman running the Mercedes SLS (270kph mile).  I had another dry course and a good run down the standing mile (283.8kph/176mph mile).  Again, today I shifted into 6th gear (.5 overdrive) well before the finish.  My instructor said thanks as he got out at the Time Attack.  I hit a few revs as I went past the crowd of spectators.  There was a couple of Military Police standing at the crowd edges waving at me to keep my speed down.  I saw a lot of cameras, video cams with large numbers of spectator’s waving and cheering.  I turned towards the Army Tent for Lunch break.  Burgers and Hot Dogs were served and another impromptu driver’s meeting told us that the afternoon was new groups and everyone needed to run the “Ultimate Speed Challenge” event.  The Ultimate was a 2 mile course.  Because of the rain the schedule was way ‘off’ so instructions were to do the Challenge and ‘just have fun.’

 

Ferraris ganging up on a Lambo

Ferraris ganging up on a Lambo

 

I felt a vibration during my Mile run and wanted to check my rear Titanium Unitrax axles because of the extreme speeds we were reaching.  Borrowing a jack from Dom Tudda’s crew (1300whp Supra and 1400whp FGT).  I jacked up my car to find that one of the bearing cups of an axle’s U-joint was destroyed.  A couple calls and I found a U-joint at Chrysler in Bonneville.  Trevor was spinning his tires as he headed out the back roads to the Dealership to get a U-joint.  For some strange reason a radar trap was sitting alongside his route to the highway.  I borrowed an 8mm wrench and removed the driveshaft from my car.  I knocked out the blown joint and soon after that Trevor showed up with my new $204 U-joint which I installed before the Ultimate Speed Challenge.

Changing the U joint

Changing the U joint

The Saleen S7 (283.3kph Mile) lined up on the starting line beside a modified lime green Lamborghini (281kph mile).  I got out to watch the run.  The lights came down and the Lambo took off, crooked as all 4 tires were spinning.  The Saleen had revved up and then idled with only a slight forward motion.  Looking closely I saw a lot of oil draining from the back of the car onto the Tarmac.  Oops, broken transmission case.   6 people ran to help push it aside.

Broken Saleen S7

Broken Saleen S7

My turn as an instructor climbed into my coupe.  I had another good run, minimizing tire slip through first and easing the throttle in second gave me a great launch.  I never saw the Ferrari that was at the starting line beside me and watching the Digitron TV I saw a re-run where I left the Ferrari sitting like he broke.  Stock Vipers actually reach their top speed in 5th gear then slow down in 6because of the “gas tax gear”.  Even with my nearly 800ft lbs of torque at the wheels at 3,000rpm my supercharged engine didn’t seem to pick up much speed during the last mile. Wow, my instructor thanked me and got out at the Time Attack area.  Later, I overheard a couple of the “Dream Ride” recipients talking about their ride in a new Mustang Boss 302 (261kph).  “It shook so bad that I thought the dash was going to hit me in the face,” was one comment.

SLS lines up against Venom 650R

SLS lines up against Venom 650R

As I revved it up going past the crowd of spectators again it seemed that everyone was clapping and waving or taking pictures.  One guy was wearing a yellow hoody and really going ‘bonkers’ … doing jumping jacks at me?  Strange looking as he turned to keep me in front of him as I drove past.  Once I parked my car Trevor came by and told me that Marcel and his wife were in attendance and they said it was announced that I’d gone 314.6kph/195mph.  That explained why the crowd was as demonstrative as I went past.  One of the Logos of the event was that it was a 300kph Challenge – and I’d easily surpassed that speed in the Ultimate Challenge.

Venom 650R

Venom 650R

The next event will see my 1100-1500whp Twin Turbo Viper GTS putting on a show.  My TT GTS has already gone 215mph at the Mojave Mile and placed 2nd in the NORC Half mile Shootout.  Using larger tires I’m quite certain that I should be able to beat Dom’s 1300whp Toyota Supra and beat or tie with his 1400whp Ford GT.  Dom bid $6,000 to charity for the opportunity to race the CF-18 from a standstill.  Dom did say that the Jet caught up to him at the half mile, but disappeared too fast after that.  Dom’s timed run while racing the fighter jet was 384.3kph, the fastest time recorded at the event.  Dom certainly had his problems.  First run with the Supra the car performed extremely well, except that the nose touched the ground and tore off the bottom of the bumper.  His Ford GT blew a blower belt.  No problem as his crew had the bumper duct tape together with Yellow tape and a new belt was fitted to the FGT on Saturday morning.  His race with the Jet was the highlight of the event, but the FGT (366kph Ultimate run) ended up second fastest to the Supra’s 384kph.

1400whp FGT

Rick Mercer was shooting film at the event when I spoke to him on Friday.  Since he was slated to drive one of Dom’s cars … I shook his hand and told him, “Because you’ll be a different man after you’ve gone 200mph.”  Rick was going to run our event on his TV show and Dom’s car got “camera’d up” to collect video.

There were many exotic cars at this event (84 cars registered) ranging from a Lotus Exige (225kph mile) to a couple reported 1485whp Lamborghini Gallardo’s (280kph mile).  A brace of Ferrari Italia 458s (278kph) were competing, Robbie Dickson’s Aventador (272kph) was a brand new Lambo, the second one to arrive in Canada.  Definitely the prettiest Lambo ever built its all wheel drive and 700bhp makes this Lamborghini the fastest ever built.  Everyone needs to make certain that they attend the mandatory Driver’s Meetings so that when they say that the braking markers (cement barricades) have been moved to the end of the runway for safety …  all the driver’s know that they need to brake at the end of the 2 mile or run out of stopping space – right Robbie?  His new Aventador reached a speed about 330kph /204mph before he realized he was approaching the end of the runway at speed.  He spun his new Lambo off onto the grass, nearly taking out runway marker lights and tearing out chunks of turf, damaging his car.  Robbie is a much safer driver now that he’s had the Bejeezus scared out of him.  His experience also taught the other drivers to not make that mistake.

700bhp Lamborghini

700bhp Lamborghini

 

rain ...

rain …

 

 

 

RESULTS

 

I finished in 2nd place for the Modified Supercar’s class.  I was followed by Mark Stutzka in his Lamborghini with third place while a 1000hp GTR won first.

My RtB trophy

In the ‘stock’ Supercar class Ryan Fipky’s Lamborghini was first and right behind his was Scott Ruzesky’s Lamborghini in second place.  Third was a ZR1 ‘vette owned by Steve Bailey.  Rob’s Viper Venom (Viper Jeff’s photoshop) finished 15th, just in front of Robbie’s Aventador, in that class.

Rob Sinneave

Rob Sinneave

In the SuperSport Modified class a modified Z06 (280kph mile) came in first with Gordon Breckenridge’s 2011 Jaguar XK5 (259kph) taking second while Keith Alexander’s BMW M5 (264kph) brought home third place.

The SuperSport Stock class was ‘owned’ by Larry Rakiwczyk’s 253kph Astin Martin DB9!  (I thought I saw a James Bond car there)  Paul Neider’s Audi R8 brought in second with 244kph mile and third was Steve Casey’s Lotus Exige (225kph).

 

3 exotics

3 exotics

 

Last class was the Tuner Car class and Josh Carter caught first with his BMW335i (249kph) while event organizer Trevor Petrow’s 15 year older  BMW 335i managed to bring home second place (268kph).   Third was Rahim Rana’s 2011 BMW 135i (237.5kph).

 

CAF fighter Jets

CAF fighter Jets

 

Congratulations to all the entries and thank you for the generous support you provided to the Charities.  The Canadian Armed Forces thank you.  There is a war.  We’re spared noticing it on the media here.  The amount being donated is well into 6 figures from this event!

modified Lambo

modified Lambo

 

 

Categories: Dodge Viper Stories

2 Responses so far.

  1. Steve 00RT10 says:

    Another nice write up Ted!

    Steve

  2. Trevor P says:

    Ted,
    Nice article. Thank you for taking the time to write up something about the unique event for the Viper Nation. It would be great to have an event at a Canadian military base again, however it is quite a “challenge” to say the least with respect to putting it together. The federal government/military is not an organization that is used to working with the “private sector” and to say that we had our share of “misunderstandings” and “mis-communications” with respect to putting this together is an understatement! Also, as we (myself and my wife) were literally the only ones trying to make it a truly competitive, fun and fair event on behalf of ZR and all competitors, conflicting ideas with respect to how to make it fun for some of the “high maintenance” competitors caused us headaches that really compromised the original vision I had for the event. Of note, we had conflicting power struggles to deal with, military style decision making, political decision making, and the overriding decision making of the various powers that be! In the end we were relieved that the event happened at all and that it ended without major incident. I would really like to see this genre of event continue, however I feel that an event such as this could be much more successful with a bigger event management team of “volunteer” organizers/planners on our end!
    Ted, Perhaps we need to start a new pitch to the Military as an independent organization and make this into a bigger and better event through our collective enthusiast driven effort. We can talk about this in the future if you like and brainstorm the potential…. Trevor Petrow – Event Competition Director/Marketing Director – RTB 2010/2012 403.945.1136 | Airdrie, AB. Canada

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