Hoping to rekindle the success it achieved by notching three consecutive GTS class wins from 1998-2000 in the world's most famous day-long endurance racing event, SRT Motorsport has accepted the invitation from the ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest) to enter a pair of new SRT Viper GTS-Rs in the LM GTE Pro class at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans which will be held on June 22-23. Beth Paretta, Director of Marketing and Operations - SRT Brand and Motorsports, and SRT Motorsports driver Marc Goossens were present in Paris to accept the ACO invite.
"Racing is truly a part of the illustrious history of Viper and a proving ground for the SRT brand," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO - Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. "Historically the Viper GTS-R has enjoyed great success at Le Mans, so we couldn't be more excited and proud to accept the challenge to return to France and continue composing the next chapter in the history of Viper racing at such an historic venue."
SRT Motorsports teamed with Riley Technologies, based in Mooresville, N.C., to design and build a pair of SRT Viper GTS-Rs which ran an abbreviated American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race schedule last year but will be contesting for the ALMS GT class championship in 2013. In addition to Goosens, the SRT Motorsports driver's lineup will include Tommy Kendall, Kuno Wittmer, Dominik Farnbacher and Jonathan Bomarito.
"The new SRT Viper GTS-R represents a rebirth for us in road racing by bringing an elevated level of technical sophistication to the track," Paretta said. "The invitation to return to the 24 Heures du Mans gives SRT Motorsports and the SRT Viper GTS-R the opportunity to compete on a stage with the best sports car teams from around the world."
Given its distinguished high-performance peerage, the new SRT Viper GTR-R will have formidable tire tracks to fill. Launched in 1996, the original GTS-R bolstered its trio of 1-2 GTS class wins at Le Mans with five international GT championships as well as the 1997-1999 FIA GT championship. It was equally formidable on home soil, becoming the first production-based American car to take an overall victory at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. It also grabbed the ALMS GTS class and driver championships in 1999 and took the class, manufacturer and driver titles in 2000 before being retired from ALMS competition.
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