SRT Motorsports officially announced the return of the SRT Viper to the American Le Mans Series, debuting the new car August 4th at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The return of the Viper marks a historic resurrection of the once deemed extinct Viper program. 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.
Since the Viper made its racing debut in 1996 the car as successfully won five international GT championships and the 1997-1999 FIA GT championships. In the year 2000 the car also posted an amazing overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona–a first for a production-based American car. To add to the legacy Viper has left in motorsports history, it finished one-two at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTS class for three consecutive years (1998-2000). Adding a driver’s championship in 1999 in the ALMS along with a Series class manufacturer’s championship in the year 2000 before retiring.
To say the new SRT Viper has a rather big shadow to fill is an understatement. Partnering with Riley Technologies, in Mooresville, N.C., the car is poised to take on the heavily represented GT Class of the ALMS. Establishing its return against the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, Lotus, and most importantly the home country rivals of Corvette.
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.