Where’s Wally….ahhh, I mean Wittmer

April 30, 2015

Where’s Wally….ahhh, I mean Wittmer

April 30, 2015

kuno_imageMontreal’s Kuno Wittmer achieved a dream as he claimed the 2014 GTLM driver’s title in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

In just his second full season of GTLM competition, the 32 year old Wittmer had a break out campaign as he prevailed over the factory aces from BMW, Corvette, Porsche, his own SRT Viper teammates, and the factory tied shoes from the Risi Competizione Ferrari and Falken Porsche teams.

kuno_image_2In a class where 11 different drivers, including Wittmer, won poles and 10 set fastest race laps in the 11 race season, Wittmer led all drivers with seven podium finishes and teamed with Viper co-driver Jonathan Bomarito for victories at Indianapolis and Circuit of The Americas. His growth as a driver obvious, it was a time for a proper celebration.

The celebration was short lived as a few hours later he learned that he had lost his ride. His SRT Viper factory team was dropping out of the series.
So how does a bright, hardworking, exceptionally fit, 32 year old series champion and popular brand ambassador in one of the most competitive classes in sports car racing worldwide end up without a ride?

The short answer is timing.

“The big factory teams make their plans in May or June. They were all pretty well set on their driver line-ups when the Viper news came out,” said Wittmer. “It was too late for Marc (Goossens) and Dominik (Farnbacher) and me to line up new rides. Thankfully, Jonathan had a ride with Mazda, but the rest of us and some of the crew all got hit.”

Already a Platinum rated driver for his Canadian championships and factory ride, Wittmer’s TUDOR Championship makes it difficult for him to fit into the ranking pairs in the Pro-Am classes. His only 2015 drive came at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Fluent in English, French and German, Wittmer says, “The hardest part was during the winter. I’ve always had day to day plans, calls, meetings, tests, runs in the simulator and brand ambassador duties. The only positive was it gave me more time with my wife and our baby son.”

“Now, that the season is underway, I can at least go to the races, including here in Monterey to keep current and talk to teams as they make plans for next year,” said Wittmer.
Having spent hundreds of hours in the race simulator at Multimatic outside of Toronto helping to develop the Viper and himself into champions, he hopes that experience and his championship will help land the next ride.

“I really like working with the team and helping to develop the car and that in turn gives me even more confidence in the races,” said Wittmer, who scored two wins and a pair of thirds in the final five races of the 2014 TUDOR Championship fight.

“I am fighter. I like a hard, clean fight. The biggest thing right now is to stay fit, stay active, be prepared and be ready,” said Wittmer. “My goal for 2016 is to have a factory ride in a major championship like the TUDOR Championship or WEC. I am a very hungry race driver.”

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