It took five years to beat the Dodge Viper ACR

Before year’s end, around December 2020, professional race driver and instructor Billy Johnson set a new production car track record at Buttonwillow Raceway Park’s Configuration 13 in a 2020 McLaren 600LT with a time of 1:46.65 beating the previous record held by the Dodge Viper ACR by more than a second.

Johnson uploaded his fastest lap video on YouTube embedded below. Do yourself a favor and sub because I’m sure he’ll post some faster times yet.

Back in 2015, the swan song for the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR was a 13-track tour where Dodge Viper’s own development engineer Chris Winkler and hot shoe Randy Pobst went around the United States breaking various production track records including Buttonwillow Raceway Park’s 3.1 mile 13-CW configuration on Jan 21, 2015 with a 1:47.70.

With 645 HP, 600 lb-ft, and 1,700 pounds of peak down force, the ACR was literally engineered and tuned to break track records.

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For reference, the 600LT has 600 HP, 457 lb-ft, but weighs 275 pounds less than the Viper ACR at a lightweight 3,099 pounds.

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The 600LT in question is not Johnson’s but was owned by someone else who wanted to get one-on-one coaching with his new 600 HP track monster. Johnson’s record setting laps were not on fresh tires since he first coached his client through two on-track sessions.

What’s crazy about Johnson’s lap record was he already beat the Viper ACR on his first lap ever with a 1:46.72.

To make this 600LT a little more friendly on the wallet, the expensive carbon ceramic brakes were swapped out for heavier two-piece iron rotors from Gyrodisc. Also, the Pirelli Trofeos were swapped out for Goodyear Supercar 3R tires, supposedly comparable to Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. With stickier tires (like the stock ones) Johnson states he could’ve easily dipped into the 1:45’s.

If that wasn’t wild enough, Johnson was recently at Buttonwillow earlier this January in someone else’s McLaren Senna, allegedly going even faster with a 1:43 and some change. That Senna was running on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2’s and not the Pirelli Trofeo R’s that come standard.

Until that video drops with some official confirmation, its smaller brother, the 600LT, holds the track record.


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