The SRT Vipers are Here!
The SRT Vipers are Here!
From 1996 to 2000, Viper proved to be one of the most successful racing cars in modern endurance sports car history. A dozen years later, SRT brings the Viper back to the American Le Mans Series stage here at Mid-Ohio, with a potent pair of 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R cars entered by a factory-backed SRT Viper Racing team.
“Racing has been a significant part of the illustrious history of Viper not only with wins on the track, but also in the continued development of the street cars – and our new 2013 SRT Viper models are proof of those lessons learned,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO-Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC.
The announcement of the return to ALMS competition with the SRT Viper GTS-R entries at the New York auto show in April was quickly followed by the completion of the first race cars and an aggressive series of on-track tests.
“The decision to make our debut at Mid-Ohio is a result of the progress made with our testing program,” said Gary Johnson, Road Racing Manager SRT Motorsports.
SRT Motorsports partnered with Riley Technologies on the design-and-build process of the new SRT Viper GTS-R. Riley also handles the day-to-day operations for the new team. SRT Motorsports is partnering with Roush Industries on the development of the 8L Viper V10 engine.
Since its debut, Viper has a long history of success in competition. Viper has previously teamed with Michelin for a pair of ALMS GT titles, three GT-class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, three overall wins at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, five FIA GT World Championships and an overall win at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Viper withdrew from ALMS competition at the end of the 2000 ALMS season.
Entering one of the most competitive classes in international motorsports is not for the faint of heart. Porsche, Ferrari, BMW and arch-rival Corvette have already claimed victories in 2012 ALMS competition. They are joined by Lotus and periodic appearances by the Aston Martin factory team.
“The new SRT Viper GTS-R represents a rebirth for us on the race track,” said Gilles. “Now the time has finally come to go head-to-head with the best sports car teams from around the world.”
The SRT Viper driver line-up includes four-time ALMS race winner Dominik Farnbacher of Germany, Marc Goossens of Belgium; 11-time starter at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, World Challenge and Dodge Viper ACR star Kuno Wittmer of Montreal; and Californian Tommy Kendall, a four-time Trans Am champion.
IndyCar star Ryan Hunter-Reay and Jonathan Bomarito will join the SRT Motorsports team for the longer races.
“With our new race team and the launch of the GTS-R, we’re excited and proud to begin writing more chapters in the racing history of the Viper, beginning at Mid-Ohio,” said Beth Paretta, Director of Marketing and Operations-SRT Brand and Motorsports.