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Viper 977-EVO; designer interview with Michael Salven (14/07/2015)


Interview with Michael  Salven on the new Viper 977-EVO

Hello Michael,

We have some questions for you on the latest Serpent release of the Viper 977-EVO.

Few years ago Serpent introduced the Viper 977 , which is basically the 9th Serpent 1/8 scale platform, since Serpent started in 1979 with the Super-Pro.   In 2013  Tadahiko Sahahsi TQ-ed and won the World Championship, and Serpent introduced the Viper 977 WC edition right after.

Now its time to introduce the  next development step, the Viper 977-EVO.  Below some questions on that .

Q:  What are the main changes in the Viper-EVO
A:  key changes in the 977-EVO are the narrower flex chassis, one-piece radioplate, lighter gearbox, new Centax gears 0.8 module, improved rear bodymount and  bumper with inserts.

Q:  Flex is the big word in race car design;  what effect are expected from the new chassisplate, radioplate and center flex system ?
A:  Certainly flex has become an important tuning matter in the racing cars.  The chassis, radioplate and the new center flex system interact and play and important role.  The chassis front is narrower, the central part has a larger pocket, and features a carbon brace to support the “arm” which holds the slider weight.  The radioplate holds  the aluminium center  flex system.  We managed to spread  out the flex over the whole car more evenly,  instead  of in certain areas. The goal was a wider set-up window.To enable or disable the flex is a simple and fast 2 screw operation.  

Q:  What has changed on the gearbox and  Centax and what are the expected results ?
A:  The XLi8 gearbox is completely new. Its a lot smaller than before, with  lower inertia which helps accelleration.  Smaller bell, smaller shoes, smaller adaptor, smaller one-way adaptor. The lighter new 2-speed gears have the 0.8 module, same for the new hard anodised Centax gears, also to improve accelleration.  

Q:  What advantages does the new front geometry offer  and how does that work ?
A:  The chassis is 6mm narrower, which allows a different  geometry.  The kits includes 2 sets pivot holders, which allows the driver to run the car wide or narrow., depending  on set-up needs and driving style.  Narrow will give a bit more mid-corner steering, but a smoother feeling. The wider set-up gives a more agressive front end.

Q:  What has changed on the rear bodymount ?
A:  We have added more material to the bodymount to make it stiffer, also under hot conditons it will keep its shape better and  thus transfers pressure better. We also added on more hole to choose angle of the bodymount arms. Before was 3, no it has 4, one additional one on the outside to run the arms more upright.

Q:  The bumper with the removable inserts is a cool idea; what effects does it have ?
A:   With the inserts its now very quick and easy to test with our without openings.  Running without inserts normally gives more steering off-throttle, while running with them gives more on-power steering, especially in high speed corners.  Yet its all about set-ups and testing, and for sure its very easy to change it fast now.

Q:  When will the new kits be shipped ?
A: We expect to send out the 1st cars  3rd week july.

Q:  I saw that you won a German race with the Viper EVO and also your team-mate Paolo Morganti  won the Byrons race with the pre production 977-EVO.  What are the next big races where the car will appear ?
A:  The German ENS race is next, followed by the EC on the same track, and the WC in Brasil  later in the year.  Ofcourse there are regional and national championships across the World which really are even more important !

Thanks for the answers Michael . Good luck at the next races !

Team Serpent