At the New York International Auto Show, Chrysler Group announced the return of the street legal 2013 SRT Viper and the purpose-built, non-street legal and competition-ready SRT Viper GTS-R. Chrysler also said that a factory-backed SRT Viper Racing team will make its comeback to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 2012.
Chrysler Group’s Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, said that racing is a major part of Viper’s history with its track wins and its development of street cars. Gilles said that the automaker drew on its racing experiences in creating the new 2013 SRT Viper models. He said that Chrysler is excited to add to the racing history of the Viper with its new team and the GTS-R launch.
SRT Motorsports collaborated with Mooresville, N.C.-based Riley Technologies for the design-and-build process of the new SRT Viper GTS-R. There will be two identical SRT Viper GTS-Rs that will join the production-based GT class in this series. The drivers who have signed up for these races are Dominik Farnbacher (Ansbach, Germany); Marc Goossens (Geel, Belgium); Ryan Hunter-Reay (Dallas); and Kuno Wittmer (Montreal).
More driver and team announcements will be made soon. These two Viper GTS-Rs will be using Michelin GT tires. The Viper’s racing heritage began in 1996 with the original GTS-R, which was the first Dodge Viper racing entry. Aside from five international GT championships, the Viper also won the 1997-1999 FIA GT championships. It earned raves in 2000 when it took overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
This is the first time that a production-based American car had ever won. In three straight years from 1998 to 2000, Viper finished the race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in GTS class with a one-two finish. It also won the GTS class as well as the 1999 driver’s championships in the American Le Mans Series, together with the Series class in 2000.