Patrick Rall's picture

Chrysler's SRT brand racing for autism

The Dodge brand has become a regular competitor in the legendary Targa Newfoundland but for the 2011 rally event along the eastern coast of North America, Chrysler’s newly formed SRT brand will have three vehicles racing to raise money for autism research – with brand CEO Ralph Gilles leading the trio into battle.

Since 2008, the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 has been competing in the Targa Newfoundland event in Canada with the bright green and black muscle car being powered by the 392 cubic inch Hemi since before that powerplant was available in the Challenger. That purpose-built green Challenger race car will once again head to Newfoundland to race nearly 1,400 miles across Canada, running from September 10th through the 17th but this year it will be joined by an additional 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 and a Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR in an effort to raise no less than $50,000 for autism research.

The Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR is the flagship performance car from both Dodge and the SRT brand with units continuing to sell even though it is more than a year out of production. The white, black and red Viper ACR prepped for the Targa Newfoundland will be piloted by SRT CEO Ralph Gilles and his co-pilot is experienced rally racer Jen Horsey.

The second entry in this year’s Targa Newfoundland from SRT is the 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392. This car will be competing in near-stock form with the only additions being items required for competition such as safety items and, as we would imagine, a good set of tires. This near stock production Challenger SRT8 392 will be driven by automotive journalist (I know, right?) George "MotoMan" Notaras with his co-pilot being Nick Chambers.

Last and certainly not least is the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 powered by a Mopar 392 cubic inch crate motor. This car was originally built to compete in the 2008 Targa Newfoundland event along with making appearances at shows and events all over the world, including a handful of stops at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. This year, the Targa Challenger will be driven by experienced rally racer Rob Pacione with Brian Maxwell serving as his co-pilot.

While these three SRT models are being raced to show off their sporting heritage and high performance capabilities, the Targa Newfoundland rally is about more than just cars and racing. Each year, the race helps to raise money for the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador (ASNL) and this year, the SRT brand is working extra hard to help out, adding a donation link on their popular brand website to raise money for the Autism Society. The company’s goal is $50,000 raised and as I write this piece, the site has already raised $2,250 from 9 supporters which includes a contribution from the Viper Club of America. For more information on donating (which gets your name on the SRT website!) click here to view the SRT brand donation page, along with more information on the 2011 Targa Newfoundland event.

Other Chrysler News:
SRT Chief Gilles says that a new SRT Ram would be "done right"
The SRT High Performance Tour kicks off at the Mopar Nationals
Chrysler’s SRT brand could offer supercharged 2013 models
The Dodge Caliber production ends on November 23rd
Win a 2012 Ram 1500 Express on Facebook

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