Road Trip to the Bondurant SRT Experience

There are over 100 SRT vehicles ready to run at Bondurant (Photo Art of Gears)
There are over 100 SRT vehicles ready to run at Bondurant (Photo Art of Gears) /
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Driving the Viper!

The Viper was so much fun to drive! (Photo Art of Gears) /

So this was the highlight of my day. The moment I had been waiting for…tracking the Dodge Viper. We were able to get behind the wheel of the Dodge Viper GT and were lead around the 1.65 mile, 15 turn road course.

Because the Vipers were all manuals, drivers that were not comfortable in getting behind the wheel of the Viper were also able to choose to do the lead-follow in a Hellcat Charger as well.

I was happy to see that Bondurant gave people that option because it allowed them to experience running some fast laps around the track to keep their SRT experience going.

Because I wanted to get some GoPro footage, I asked the instructor staff if I could go last in my group and ended up strapping my camera on the roof of my Viper. Here is a quick video of what went down.

Now I know you might be thinking, why did he speed up the footage? It’s really hard to capture just how fast we were taking these vehicles around the track with just one camera. If I had to do it again, I would have brought multiple cameras to catch the action. But I wanted to keep a low profile for this 1-day school.  But I can assure you; we had a blast!

The power and responsiveness of the Dodge Viper was amazing. Downshifting into the corners was just so much fun! Because I was the trail vehicle in my group, it allowed me to vary my speed in the Viper without having to be boxed in from the other drivers.

Of course, because of all the different skill levels we were not allowed to pass, but you know what? I didn’t even care. I had that “perma-grin” on my face and had crossed another one off the list.

So what could make this day any better? How about a couple of hot laps in a Hellcat Challenger!

Hot Laps

The last experience of the day was the hot lap ride along with an instructor in a Dodge Challenger Hellcat to see what these cars could really do. For being such a big vehicle,  I was simply blown away by how the Hellcat performed on the track. It was something I had not expected.

Bondurant Hellcat (Photo YouTube) /

I have to admit; this is where I made my first and only mistake of the day. When it was my turn to jump in the passenger seat of the Hellcat, I tried to set up my GoPro camera to the inside window to get some sweet action footage.

To keep the ball rolling,  it was a quick turnaround between students. By the time I got in the Hellcat, put the camera in place and got my seatbelt on, we were off, leaving a trail of tire smoke behind us. And guess what? I had turned the camera on but forgot to hit the record button!

Once I realized my mistake, I tried to reach for my camera. The sheer power that the Hellcat put’s out had my body pinned to the passenger seat! My instructor was driving that Hellcat so hard, that I couldn’t even reach my camera. I quickly ditching the idea, got comfortable and enjoyed the ride. The hop lap was an impressive experience and that Hellcat is a beast!

My road trip to Bondurant was an awesome experience as well. It gave me a chance to get some open road miles on the Focus RS. I ended up putting a little over 700 miles on the hot hatch on this trip alone.

Next: SRT Viper Going Out With Style

The staff at Bondurant went out of their way to provide some world class training for drivers of all ages and skill levels. They also reminded us throughout the day to “have fun” and enjoy the experience. After all, most of the students were either SRT owners or soon to be owners.

And getting the chance to get some professional training on how to properly enjoy our new high-performance vehicles is always a good thing.