Two SRT Viper GTS-Rs that achieved a one-two finish in the GTS class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1998 to 2000 will make their return to what is considered as the oldest active sports car race in the world.
Event organizer Automobile Club de I ‘Quest (ACO) sent an invitation to SRT Motorsports in February 2013 to field a two-car team in the LM GTE Pro class. Only 56 entries are selected for the annual racing event, which 81st edition will be held on June 22 to 23, 2013 at Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France.
Ralph Gilles, president and chief executive of (SRT) Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports of Chrysler Group LLC, remarked that racing is a cornerstone of “Viper’s illustrious history.” He noted that the GTS-R has achieved success at Le Mans – which he called as a world stage -- in the past, and the team is excited to start a “new chapter of Viper racing” at the event.
Beth Paretta, Director of Marketing and Operations of SRT Brand and Motorsports, quipped that racing is a big part of “everything that SRT does.”
She noted that racing is in their name, “Street and Racing Technology,” so there is a blur line between things they do on the road and on the track. She remarked that SRT does not only run competitively on the road, but also on the track.
Aside from the 2013 SRT Viper, Chrysler Group is also unveiling another high-performance model at the 2012 New York International Auto Show -- the new SRT Viper GTS-R. Unlike the 2013 SRT Viper that can be legally driven on the road, the SRT Viper GTS-R couldn’t be, since it was built with a single purpose in mind – to race.
The unveiling of the non-road legal SRT Viper GTS-R comes as Chrysler signals the return of a factory-supported SRT Viper Racing team to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 2012. Ralph Gilles, president and chief executive of Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports at Chrysler Group LLC, remarked that the racing has been a part of the Viper’s history with lessons learned from its continued developed resulting to the new 2013 SRT Viper models. He added that with the new SRT Viper Racing team and the new SRT Viper GTS-R, SRT will soon start writing more chapters in the Viper’s racing history.
In designing and building the new SRT Viper GTS-R, SRT Motorsports teamed up with Riley Technologies, of Mooresville, N.C. The team will field two identical units of the SRT Viper GTS-R in the production-based GT class in the ALMS, are driven by Dominik Farnbacher of Germany, Marc Goossens of Belgium, Ryan Hunter-Reay of Dallas and Kuno Wittmer of Montreal.