SRT Viper GTS-R Races Toward Mid-Ohio Debut
BRASELTON, Ga. (July 13, 2012) – SRT’s new Viper GTS-R sports car is coiled to strike at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The highly anticipated new GT entry will make its debut in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón during the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge on Saturday, Aug. 4. It’s an appropriate venue – the SRT Motorsports team completed a recent SRT Viper GTS-R testing program at the circuit before officials and team members deemed the car ready for ALMS competition.
“We’re thrilled to return to the world-class competition in the American Le Mans Series with our flagship American supercar,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “The new SRT Viper GTS-R represents a rebirth for us on the race track. It epitomizes the best of what our new SRT performance brand represents and showcases the Viper’s natural affinity for road courses. Now the time has finally come to go head-to-head with the best sports car teams from around the world.”
Two identical SRT Viper GTS-R cars will race at Mid-Ohio as part of a limited 2012 ALMS season. The factory team aims for a full GT championship run in 2013.
"The anticipation of SRT's new Viper debuting in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón continues to grow with every photo and video of the new car testing," ALMS President and CEO Scott Atherton said. "I know fans around the world can't wait to see the SRT Viper GTS-R race head-to-head against BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche and Lotus in what already is the best GT class in the world. It makes Mid-Ohio even more of a can't-miss event for spectators in person and our live audience on ABC."
SRT Motorsports has partnered with Riley Technologies, based in Mooresville, N.C., on the design-and-build process of the new SRT Viper GTS-R race cars. Similar production-based moderately modified two-wheel drive race cars comprise the GT class. They share many styling similarities to their showroom brands and by ALMS rules must have a minimum weight of 2,745 pounds. The cars produce between 450-500 horsepower with top speeds of up to 180 mph.
“Racing has been a significant part of the illustrious history of Viper,” said Beth Paretta, Director of Marketing and Operations – SRT Brand and Motorsports. Wins on the track and continued development of our street cars along with our new 2013 SRT Viper models are proof of those lessons learned. Now 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.”
Three full-time drivers currently are signed to drive including Dominik Farnbacher, from Ansbach, Germany; Marc Goossens from Geel, Belgium; and Kuno Wittmer from Montreal. Ryan Hunter-Reay from Dallas will join the team for the longer endurance races. Additional driver and team announcements will be forthcoming.
“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. “The car has shown steady performance. Each test has met and more often exceeded our expectations, so we’ll see how things go at Mid-Ohio and then make a decision about the rest of the 2012 season.”
The Viper has enjoyed a successful racing heritage that began in 1996 with the first Dodge Viper racing entry, the original GTS-R, which earned five international GT championships and the 1997-1999 FIA GT championships. It also posted an amazing overall win at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000 – the first for a production-based American car.
Viper finished 1-2 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in GTS class in three consecutive years – 1998–2000 – and also captured GTS class and driver’s championships in the American Le Mans Series in 1999 along with the Series class, manufacturer’s and driver’s championships in 2000.
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón next heads north for Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. The two-hour, 45-minute race is scheduled for noon ET on July 22 from the 2.459-mile, 10-turn Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. ESPN2’s broadcast featuring live coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET. Full, live coverage is available starting at 11:45 a.m. ET on ESPN3.
The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the Mosport round and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.