1998 Chrysler Viper GTS-R

Mending a rift in motor racing is good for everybody. It was good for American open-wheel racing when the Champ Car and IndyCar Series put aside their differences to rejoin forces. And it will be good for sports car racing now that the FIA and the ACO are in the same corner.

Just as Indy is set to grow with new manufacturers participating, so is it expected of the new FIA World Endurance Championship. Toyota is one of the major automakers reportedly working on a new LMP1 program, and now reports indicate that the Chrysler Group could be preparing to rejoin endurance racing with a competition version of the upcoming next-generation Viper.

As you may recall, the original Viper bred the GTS-R that claimed overall wins in the Nürburgring 24 Hours and Rolex 24 at Daytona. It also scored back-to-back class wins at Le Mans in 1998, '99 and 2000, Sebring in 2000 and numerous others, including several titles in the FIA GT Championship and American Le Mans Series.

In bringing the next Viper back into the fold, Chrysler would look to challenge the likes of the Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, BMW M3 GT2 and Ferrari 458 GTC in the GTE category. That last bit would be particularly interesting, as the two companies are now corporate cousins under the Fiat umbrella.

The automaker has reportedly brought Riley Technologies, the chassis manufacturer behind eight years running of Grand Am champions, to evaluate the new Viper for competition potential. We'll be watching to see how this development unfolds.