SRT Viper Buddies

August 24, 2012

SRT Viper Buddies

August 24, 2012


When you take a couple of highly talented, quick-witted, personable young drivers and put them into a storied factory racing team as co-drivers, the result will be either a tense rivalry or a strong friendship.

Fortunately for the fledgling SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-R team, Montreal’s Kuno Wittmer, 30, and Germany’s Dominik Farnbacher, 28, formed an instant bond that is generating progress for the team, the brand and the #91 SRT Viper’s development.

“We met when Kuno came over for the Viper ACR (American Club Racer) production-car world record lap at the Nurburgring last September,” said Farnbacher. “Kuno Facebooked me and told me he would be in town for the record tests.”

“Kuno was racing in the Viper Cup Series and he helped me at the Nurburgring with his experience with the Viper and his experience on MICHELIN® tires. He helped me understand how the Viper downshifts, how to treat the car in the corners,” said Farnbacher.

The advice apparently helped as Farnbacher took the 2010 Viper ACR to the production class mark of 7:12.13 on the fabled Ring.

“We’ve been friends ever since,” continued Farnbacher. “We have similar characteristics and sarcasm; we laugh every time we get together. Even though we had just met, Kuno invited me to his bachelor party and his wedding in Montreal.”

Meanwhile, Wittmer is the beneficiary of Farnbacher’s American Le Mans Series experience, where he has four wins.

“Dominik is showing me the ropes in the ALMS,” said Wittmer. “He takes time to introduce me to the officials, teams and other drivers. It is not necessary for him to do that, but is very helpful and I appreciate it.”

“We have the same respect for the sport and for our families, and we share a large group of friends. We are a lot alike,” said Wittmer. “Even the way Dominik speaks to his father and family is the way I speak to mine.”

“If we are gone from home more than a week we both miss our families,” agrees Farnbacher. “We have dinner together all the time, in fact we spend as much time together as we can to talk about racing, the car, the races. We both really want to make this is a big success.”

While the communication with the team and each other is in English, each has a second language. Farnbacher speaks German and English. Wittmer is fluent in French and English, but holds the trump card.

“He can’t make sarcastic remarks about me in German because I speak German, too,” said Wittmer.

“He looks younger than me,” laughs Farnbacher.

“Yeah, but he’s got better hair,” answers Wittmer.

“We have the same goal – to win races and championships with SRT Viper,” said Farnbacher.

And on that note, both are suddenly very serious.

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