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The twists and turns of crowdfunding

3 July, 2017

It seems every second article you read has a crowdfunding appeal attached. Of course, some are to help cure disease or help out those in need — and we tip our hats to those noble causes — but this one seems so pure and ridiculous in its simplicity, we can’t help but applaud the team behind it.

In 2011, Dominik Farnbacher drove a 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR around the main 12.9-mile circuit at Nurburg in just 7:12.13, breaking the road car track record in the process.

But a lot of water and horsepower has flowed under the bridge since then with the Lamborghini Huracán LP 640-4 Performante, the Porsche 918 Spyder, the Lamborghini Aventador SV, the Nissan GT-R Nismo and the Mercedes-AMG GT R having walloped the Viper’s time. But since the 5th generation Viper was introduced, staunch Viper fans have been desperate to get the newest generation ACR back to The Ring for another crack at the title.

With no appetite from the factory to break the record again, a few hardy souls led by Russ Oasis took a truly 2017 approach, started a GoFundMe account and threw their hat on the pavement. They had managed to convince Viper Exchange (a Viper dealer in Texas) to stump up a couple of 2016 ACRs should they raise enough money.

The fund was to cover the costs of getting the cars to Germany as well as a whole lot of gear and a couple of reputable drivers capable of taking the Viper back to number one (Farnbacher is back alongside Luca Stolz). The US$156,000 target was hit last month, and now an extra few grand sits in the account which should keep the Vipers on track for an extra half a lap or so.

Given that the Lamborghini Huracan Performante managed to knock around 20 seconds off the 2010 Viper’s lap time, we wish the newer Vipers godspeed and look forward to hearing the result later this month.

Saltwater Creek Garage

After passing by this building for many years, I decided to call in and ask the owner about his garage and the car that had been parked there. It was a 1982 Hyundai Pony 1200 TLS that he’d inherited from his mother who had bought it when it was nearly new. I was fortunate enough to buy it from him — many had approached him over the years but were turned away. After sitting out there for that long you could not imagine how dirty it was. At least it had never been wet in all that time. The interior is a mid-blue and almost like new — in fact his mother, Irene, had still retained the original factory-fitted thick clear-plastic cover over the mid-blue vinyl door panels.

Lunch with … Roger Bailey

Roger’s story is a classic illustration of what hard work, honesty to the point of brutal frankness, a ‘can-do’ approach, and a racer’s brain can get you in this sport of car racing. Roger, or ‘Boost’ as he’s known up and down the pitlanes of America, was who Kenny Smith turned to when he was dragging a reluctant teenager around the different pit garages at Laguna Seca.
“Scott [Dixon] kept complaining that it was too hot and he just wanted to go back to the hotel pool. I had to tell him that I was trying to secure his future — we weren’t getting much of a look in until we saw Roger who knew everyone and set about introducing Scott as New Zealand’s next big thing.