Insane Formula Drift Viper Smokes Out Hoonigan at the ‘Burnyard’

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Owned by formula drift pro Dean Kearney, Viper puts out 1,350 horsepower to the rears, delivers 150-mph wheelspins to the asphalt.

The Viper’s reputation as a terror knows no bounds. On the track, on the street, one wrong move or look, and the big V10 snake sinks its teeth into your heart and soul.

Now, just imagine a Viper slithering into Formula Drift. You don’t have to, of course, for such a serpent does exist, in the form of formula drift pro Dean Kearney’s 1,350-horsepower drift machine. And today, it pays The Hoonigans a visit to their smokehouse in Irwindale, California.

Team Karnage Dodge Viper Formula Drift

“This is a Generation Four, 2008 Dodge Viper,” said Kearney. “It’s a coupe body style. Then, we made [it] all custom. I have front bumper, fenders, rockers… We have the only two drift Vipers in the world.”

This Viper packs a pair of Garrett turbos mounted on the sides of the 8.4-liter V10, providing 16 pounds of boost. The monster is so powerful that not only is it the most powerful Formula Drift car around, it breaks dynos with 900 horses at 3,200 rpm. The 10 shots of nitrous running down the center of the block also help.

Team Karnage Dodge Viper Formula Drift

“On the inside, it’s kept relatively simple,” said Kearney. “We’re using this new piece of technology — well, it’s not new, but it will be new in drifting — called a V-box. It’s very common in rallycross and that kind of stuff. It’s for teaching the driver what they’re doing wrong on the track. I have a camera on the pedals, camera on the steering wheel, and a camera on the front of the car.”

The doors on the Viper are a composite of materials, including fiberglass and Kevlar. Meanwhile, getting into the car is fairly easy for Kearney, thanks to a grab bar on the roll cage and lots of time getting in and out of the tight space.

Team Karnage Dodge Viper Formula Drift

“This was actually all Dan [Sommer],” said Kearney of the work Sommer did on the rear of the Viper. “Dan done the fuel cell and rear rod and stuff. We had to notch the outside case… because we’re so tight on space with everything.”

Sommer also pointed out the lights tucked in the wheel wells for better lighting on those thrash sessions at night before a big event, like the big smokeshow Kearney is about to perform for The Hoonigans.

Team Karnage Dodge Viper Formula Drift

Kearney charges hard into the arena of black containers, his Viper’s rear tires already smoking it up. Round and round they went, dancing with the Hoonigans filming the madness. Kearney even managed to bip his former employee before high-tailing it back to cool off the car by removing the hood. But he wasn’t done yet.

Mason gets a chance to dance with the Viper on the second run, something we don’t recommend doing without leaving your brain at home. The tire destruction got so crazy that a few of the Hoonigans ducked under the flatbed trailer for safety.

A fresh tire swap later, and Kearney went out again to deliver the goods in fifth gear. The duo roar into the arena, turbos howling and V10s burbling. Everything was draped in smoke, including the cabin; thus, Kearney had to pull out to let it all clear before going back to do more damage to the tires.

Team Karnage Dodge Viper Formula Drift

The big finale left the tires bald and smokey, as well a big rubber mark on the asphalt, a demonstration of what 150 miles per hour of wheel spin can do when one turns a Viper into a hardcore drift machine.

Photos: Screenshots

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Since launching her professional writing career nearly a decade ago as a fashion blogger, Cameron Aubernon has written for a handful of online and print publications on a wide variety of subjects, including expat issues, fashion, music, and, of course, the automotive industry. The automotive expert was even the editor-in-chief of a popular online lifestyle publication, where she reviewed luxury cars and interviewed fellow automotive enthusiasts.

A graduate of The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 with a bachelor's in liberal arts, Aubernon took a left turn from fashion writing into the automotive realm when she asked a fellow writer via Facebook if she could write for their site. Following an internship, stints with a couple of hyper-local online publications, and a move to Seattle, she made her then-biggest impact with The Truth About Cars, writing full-time for the publication from 2013 to 2015.

Currently, the highly-regarded automotive expert is a frequent contributor to the high-traffic Internet Brands Auto Group websites Rennlist and Mustang Forums, among others.

Aubernon’s expert knowledge of all things Ford trucks has also made her a mainstay as one of the most prolific writers on Ford Truck Enthusiasts and F-150 Online.

Aubernon can be contacted via email at [email protected].

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