The popular driver from the Northwest could not have chosen a more challenging race to make her return to the cockpit. With the ambient temperature exceeding 90-degrees Fahrenheit and the track surface burning at 144 F the race would be as much a fight with the conditions as with the other 32 cars on track. The V10 rumbling in front of her is a great tool on the straights of the Indy road course – including the iconic front straightaway run backwards of the famous layout of the Indianapolis 500 – but horsepower and torque numbers quickly gave way to the number on the thermometer.
Having qualified an impressive fourth-in-class, as the 70-minute race charged toward the checkered flag, Cindi found herself deep in a battle for third-place. The heat began to take its toll on competitors with caution periods caused by overheating machines and drivers slowing the pace. With the slow laps behind the safety car, the temperature inside the American supercar would scream upward as the massive engine heat-soaked the cockpit. Remarkably, data recorded inside the Viper coupe documented a sustained high exceeding 155 F.
Despite the soaring temperatures, Cindi dug deep within herself to stay up on the wheel capturing third-place when the track went green. Despite the unrelenting heat causing a slick track, which abused the Pirelli racing tires, which in-turn required more concentration and physical manipulation of the car, Cindi held on to score her 12th career Trans Am Series podium. She has two previous victories.
A tape-delayed broadcast of the event can be found on the CBS Sports Network at 2:00p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. in the Portland area on Sunday, July 1. Lux Performance Group will contest its next Trans Am Series event, August 2 – 5 at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Pennsylvania.
Fred Lux, Team Principal/Engineer, Lux Performance Group Viper ACRX | “You definitely know you’re at Indy when you see the wave of ‘yellow shirts’ [Indianapolis Motor Speedway security guards] in the paddock trying to help. But it is good to be back at The Speedway and back racing. We could have chosen somewhere other than the surface of the Sun to do it though. The Motec electronics showed a cockpit temperature of 157 degrees [Fahrenheit] during the race. So, I am glad to say my wife is no longer half baked, she is fully cooked now. It was a race of attrition with the crazy heat. We made the most of that and brought home a podium against some strong competition.”
Cindi Lux, Driver, No. 45 Lux Performance Group Dodge Viper ACRX | “It took me a while to knock off the rust and get up on the wheel after being out of the car so long. So I was a little disappointed in myself on the test day. It all came back smoother on Saturday. I don’t think I was ever so happy to see a checkered flag than I was on Sunday. I was melting inside the car. I didn’t really want to know the cockpit temperature of the car during the race. It was brutal but when we were green I was able to focus and work my way up to the podium. That is a solid start to the year and the Viper really showed itself well. Our car being the heaviest and probably the hottest is a true testament to Dodge building a great car. It never missed a beat. It’s nice to be back in Trans Am. We’ve missed being out here with this group. But, note to self: don’t drive a black race car with a 10-cylinder motor mounted in the front.”