The purpose-built, non-street legal and competition-ready Dodge SRT Viper GTS-R was revealed as part of the Chrysler Group’s announcement that a factory-backed SRT Viper Racing team will return to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 2012.
SRT Motorsports has partnered with Riley Technologies, based in Mooresville, N.C., on the design-and-build process of the new SRT Viper GTS-R.
Two identical Dodge SRT Viper GTS-Rs will compete in the production-based GT class in the series. Four drivers currently are signed to drive including Dominik Farnbacher, from Ansbach, Germany; Marc Goossens from Geel, Belgium; Ryan Hunter-Reay from Dallas and Kuno Wittmer from Montreal. Additional driver and team announcements will be forthcoming.
Both Viper GTS-Rs will race on the proven Michelin GT tires extending the successful technical partnership.
All ALMS teams compete in the prestigious MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge. Entering its fourth season, the program objectively ranks the competing cars in terms of their environmental footprint, their energy efficiency and speed on the racetrack. A separate, season-long award is given by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International, acknowledging the vehicle manufacturer and its technology contribution to improving efficiency and reducing environmental impacts of racing. The scoring system for the program was developed by series officials and the U.S. Department of Energy, and it is based on a combination of on-track performance and energy consumption. The LMP and GT teams that win MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge championship will earn an entry to the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Viper racing heritage
The Viper has enjoyed a successful racing heritage that began in 1996 with the first Dodge Viper racing entry, the original GTS-R, which earned five international GT championships and the 1997-1999 FIA GT championships. It also posted an amazing overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000 – the first for a production-based American car.
Viper finished one-two at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in GTS class in three consecutive years – 1998–2000 – and also captured GTS class, and driver’s championships in the American Le Mans Series in 1999 along with the Series class, manufacturer’s and driver’s championships in 2000.
The Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, introduced in 2003, delivered the next chapter of that history with its coupe-shaped carbon/Kevlar body and a track-ready chassis, based on the Dodge Viper SRT10®. The Viper Competition Coupe continued the on-track prowess by capturing the 2004 SCCA Speed World Challenge GT title, championships in Formula D Drifting series in 2004 and 2006 and the British GT Championship in 2007 and 2008.
In 2010, the Dodge Viper Cup Series was founded using the limited-edition Dodge Viper ACR-X spec series cars. Now in its third year, the series has been renamed the SRT Viper Cup Series.