Viper ready to add to impressive heritage

August 3, 2012

Viper ready to add to impressive heritage

August 3, 2012

The best GT racing in the world became one step even hotter this weekend with the debut of the two-car SRT Viper squad at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Already BMW, Corvette, Porsche and Ferrari have stormed to victory lane – now the Viper name is back – a name that has an incredible winning heritage in the American Le Mans Series.

Fans are excited to see the return of the factory team which hasn’t competed in the ALMS since the Adelaide Race of a Thousand Years in Australia on New Year’s Eve in 2000.

Even more exciting is the stellar driver line up with Trans-Am legend Tommy Kendall coming out of retirement to team up with Marc Goosens and GT hot shot Dominik Farnbacher driving with Canadian young gun, Kuno Wittmer.

Kendall is excited to be a part of the intensive development plan for the new car.

“It’s small steps.  Sometimes, it’s two forward and one back,” Kendall said.

“This is the first step in a long journey.  It’s exciting to see the cars run, come to life.  We’re starting to make consistent laps.  Now, we can focus on getting more speed out of the car.  Right now, we’re focused on making laps, click as many off as we can.”

“I’m starting to feel comfortable in the car; it’s starting to feel familiar,”.

“In painting, you use big broad strokes at first; now I feel I’ve got the broad strokes down and starting to chill out a little bit.

“That’s important.  When they ask me for feedback on the car, until I get to a point where I’m reasonable consistent, it’s meaningless feedback.  I’m at the point now where I can give some helpful information for changes.”

The Viper has an impressive history – check out the list of acheivements!

  • In 1996, the Viper GTS-R made its debut and competed on a limited schedule in the GT1 class of the European and Asian BPR Global GT Series as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
  • Switched to FIA GT Championship GT-2 class in 1997 and earned its first FIA GT win at Hockenheim (Oliver Beretta and Philippe Gache).
  • Finished 1-2 at 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTS class for three consecutive years (1998-2000).
  • Five international GT championships.
  • Three-consecutive FIA GT championships (1997-1999).
  • In 2000, became the first production-based American car to capture the overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
  • Won the ALMS GTS class, manufacturer’s and driver’s championships in 2000.
  • Retired from ALMS factory-backed competition in 2001.

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