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Jun 18

24 Hours of Le Mans: SRT Motorsports preview

Viper returns to Le Mans

SRT Motorsports’ SRT Viper GTS-Rs 1SRT Motorsports will field two SRT Viper GTS-Rs in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the first factory supported Viper effort at the race since 2000. SRT Motorsports also competes full-time in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with a two-car team.

The driver lineup for Le Mans: Tommy Kendall, Kuno Wittmer and Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R; Marc Goossens, Dominik Farnbacher and Ryan Dalziel in the No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R.

SRT VIPER RACING HERITAGE

In 1996, the Viper GTS-R made its debut and competed in a limited schedule in the GT1 class of the European and Asian BPR Global GT Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Finished 1-2 at 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTS class for three consecutive years (1998-2000).

Five international GT championships.

Three-consecutive FIA GT championships (1997-1999).

Won the ALMS GTS class, manufacturer’s and driver’s championship in 2000.

In 2000, became the first production-based American car to capture the overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.

Retired from ALMS factory-backed competition in 2001.

Returned to ALMS for four races in 2012.

DRIVER QUOTES:

“Le Mans is a big deal because it has such a great history, the first endurance race in the world. The whole world is watching. It’s not only France or a particular country; the whole world watches that race. The crowds there are outstanding.”

–Dominik Farnbacher – No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R

“I’ve had the opportunity to race there 11 times. Every time I go to Le Mans and get out on the track the first time, I get goose bumps. The return of the Viper makes it a unique situation for us. Fans worldwide will be watching us closely. We’re looking forward to being a part of Viper’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

–Marc Goossens – No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R

“Le Mans is just an amazing place with an electric atmosphere, something I had never experienced in any racing paddock. It reminded me of world championship soccer matches in Europe, you know, an atmosphere where you can’t hear yourself think. I said after the first time there in 2010 that it’s my goal every year to make sure I go there.”

–Ryan Dalziel – No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R

“To me personally, it’s a dream come true to race at Le Mans. To be teamed up with Jonathan (Bomarito) and Tommy (Kendall) is very good. It’s a level of confidence for me going to Le Mans that we have teammates and team guys that have been there and know what to expect.

–Kuno Wittmer – No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

“For me Le Mans is the last frontier. It’s the biggest sports car race on the planet and it’s different than any other race in that you’ve got the long track and there aren’t that many cars for that much room. You go through long stints during the race without seeing another car. You can have a lap where you might see one other car.”

–Tommy Kendall – No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

“It’s a dream come true to be racing at Le Mans and as a race car driver that’s at the top of everybody’s list. When you look back all the winners and manufacturer support over 81 years, the history of the race is just incredible.”

–Jonathan Bomarito – No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

QUOTES OF THE WEEKQUOTES OF THE WEEK

“The return to Le Mans has happened faster than we expected but always engineered with that in mind. Clearly the fond memories – a lot of people on the team were here back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I still remember the excitement and euphoria and spill-off effect of having been in the 24 Hours of Le Mans before. We had a fantastic platform for the car and our No. 1 goal was to get back into racing and Le Mans was on the radar.”

–Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Brand and Motorsports

“SRT is still trying to be recognized by the public as a brand – although we’ve been around – we’re still educating people what the letters SRT (Street and Racing Technology) are. So it’s a great opportunity to be in front of people who will help us tell our story.”

–Beth Paretta, Director – SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Brand and Motorsports Marketing and Operations

DRIVER INFO

TOMMY KENDALL

No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

Birthdate: 10/17/1966 Hometown: Santa Monica, Calif.

Highlights

Four-time Trans Am champion; dominated the series in the 1990s including 1997 when he won all but one race on the schedule

Five-time IMSA champion

Invited to participate in IROC Series six times

24 Hours of Daytona class winner in 1995, teaming with Mark Martin and Paul Newman

 

KUNO WITTMER

No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

Birthdate: 06/09/1982 Hometown: Montreal, Canada

Highlights

In 2000, he became the youngest driver to compete in the Toyota Atlanta Championship when he was just 17-years-old

Scored six wins competing in the SCCA World Challenge GT Class

Broke single-lap record at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah in 2011

 

JONATHAN BOMARITO

No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

Birthdate: 01/23/1982 Hometown: Monterey, Calif.

Highlights

2010 Rolex 24 at Daytona winner in the Grand-Am GT class

Scored GT class wins at New Jersey (2011) and Barber Motorsports Park (2012)

Captured 2003 Formula Ford championship with five wins

 

DOMINIK FARNBACHER

No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R

Birthdate: 09/26/1984 Hometown: Ansbach, Germany

Highlights

Four career ALMS wins (St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca)

Has eight career starts in the Rolex 24 at Daytona

Won 2005 Rolex 24 at Daytona GT class alongside co-drivers Wolf Henzler, Shawn Price and Pierre Ehret

 

MARC GOOSSENS

No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R

Birthdate: 11/30/1969 Hometown: Geel, Belgium

Highlights

Has 11 starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1996-2003, 2008, 2010-2011)

Won 24 Hours of Zolder four times (1997,1998, 2005 and 2007)

Competed in FIA GT series from 2002 through 2005

 

RYAN DALZIEL

No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R

Birthdate: 04/12/1982 Hometown: Glasgow, Scotland

Highlights

Won 2012 LMP2 class at 24 Hours of Le Mans and World Endurance Championship plus three ALMS races – Petit Le Mans, Long Beach and Baltimore.

Has 16 starts in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series

 

FROM THE TEAM LEADERS

“I think it’s a dream come true for anybody that’s been involved in motorsports. Le Mans is really the pinnacle of sports car racing. To be invited is a real honor. I hope that we do well there and keep our Viper fans behind us and cheering us on. We want to make sure that they see a good race. Le Mans is really the thing that we’ve been targeting this year. All of our focus has been on that. We know that because our fans have been really anxious. I’ve been having dreams about Le Mans since we were invited. It’s just one dream that keeps repeating in my head.”

–Gary Johnson, SRT Motorsports Racing Manager

 

“It’s a huge honor to be involved in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in any way, shape or form and represent SRT with the Viper on its return. I love the facility, I love the race and I love the history. Being an American going across the ocean to race in Europe, that’s special. Everyone brings their A-game to Le Mans, so that’s special also.”

– Bill Riley, VP and Chief Engineer, Riley Technologies

 

SRT VIPER GTS-R SPECS

Engine: 8.0L V10

HP: 455 HP (Restricted by Series)

Trans: XTrac Transaxle, Paddle Shift

Brakes: Front – Brembo 6-Piston, 380 mm rotors

Rear – Brembo 4-Piston, 330 rotors

Wheels: TWS Forged, Magnesium

Tires: Michelin Slicks

Front – 30/68-18 Rear – 31/71-18

 

FOLLOW THE ACTION ON SPEED (All times EDT)

Saturday, June 22

8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

7:30 p.m. – Midnight

Sunday, June 23

Midnight – 9:30 a.m.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Production SRT Vipers are built at the Chrysler Group’s Connor Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit.

source:  www.srtmotorsports.com