We were on hand last year when the 2013 SRT Viper made its racing debut at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the American Le Mans Series, but now Chrysler has accepted the invitation to run two Vipers at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. The Viper has a brief but successful history at Le Mans, finishing in the top two spots of its class for three consecutive years (1998-2000), and it will look for more of the same success when it returns to action in the LM GTE Pro class.

Chrysler said that the two cars entered into the 24-hour race would be driven by Marc Goossens, Tommy Kendall, Kuno Wittmer, Dominik Farnbacher and Jonathan Bomarito, but it also promised "additional team announcements" at a later date. In addition to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Viper GTS-R will also be running a full season of ALMS, which kicks off next month at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

Chrysler released a press release for the Viper's return to Le Mans, which we've posted below.
Show full PR text
De Retour! Viper set for Return to 24 Heures du Mans With SRT Motorsports

Two factory-supported SRT Viper GTS-Rs will compete in famous 24-hour endurance race in France in June

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- It's official: Viper will return this year to the stage of some of its most impressive past road racing performances – the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.

SRT Motorsports today accepted an invitation from the ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest) to field two SRT Viper GTS-Rs in the LM GTE Pro class of the 2013 24 Heures du Mans, June 22-23, officially returning the Viper sports car to one of the most prestigious automobile endurance races in the world.

The Viper finished one-two at the 24 Heures du Mans in GTS class competition three consecutive years – 1998 to 2000.

"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."

Beth Paretta , Director of Marketing and Operations – SRT Brand and Motorsports, and SRT Motorsports driver Marc Goossens were on hand at today's press conference in Paris to officially accept the invitation.

"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."

SRT Motorsports teamed with Riley Technologies, based in Mooresville, N.C., on the design-and-build process of the SRT Viper GTS-R. Two identically prepared cars returned to competition last year at Mid-Ohio, the first of four test-and-tune races in preparation for a full 2013 schedule in the GT class in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patron .

In addition to Goossens, drivers returning to the SRT Motorsports lineup for 2013 will be Tommy Kendall , Kuno Wittmer , Dominik Farnbacher and Jonathan Bomarito . Additional team announcements will be revealed at a later date.

The Viper's successful racing heritage began in 1996 with its first racing entry, the original GTS-R, which earned five international GT championships and the 1997 to 1999 FIA GT championships in addition to the three consecutive one-two finishes at the 24 Heures du Mans in the GTS class.

The Viper posted an amazing overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000 – the first for a production-based American car. Viper also captured GTS class and driver's championships in ALMS competition in 1999 along with the series' class, manufacturer's and driver's championship in 2000 before retiring from the series.

About SRT and SRT Motorsports
The Chrysler Group's SRT (Street and Racing Technology) brand uses a successful product development formula featuring five proven hallmarks: awe-inspiring powertrains; outstanding ride, handling and capability; benchmark braking; aggressive and functional exteriors and race-inspired and high-performance interiors to remain true to its performance roots.

The SRT lineup in the 2013 model year features five vehicles that are world-class performance contenders and bring the latest in safety technologies and creature comforts. The Chrysler 300 SRT8, Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, Dodge Charger SRT8 and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 are joined by the SRT flagship Viper and Viper GTS models, which are making their highly anticipated return to the high-performance sports car market.

The engineering expertise within SRT extends well beyond its high-performance street vehicles. Technical support for the Chrysler Group's various racing programs is provided by the astute engineers at SRT Motorsports, where lessons learned on the race track directly translate to improved vehicles for the company's customers.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      SloopJohnB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Apparently the ACO is allowing the Viper a competitive configuration. Or else Chrysler simply wouldn't.
        Kyle
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        SRT has redesigned the intake to better cope with the air restrictors, taken weight out of the suspension, and a lot of tweaking on just about everything. One advantage the Viper has, is that the driveline takes comparably little wear and tear compared to the dohc competitors; while others are fixing and rebuilding, SRT can look towards the future and improve what they already have.
          RJC
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Kyle
          ^^^ where do people come up with this nonsense?
          Bud
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Kyle
          How would you redesign the intake to make the restrictors work better ? I don't get it, the restrictors are restrictors....
          8LiterHemiV8
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Kyle
          Bud, you can improve any part of the car... and it will help it..
      Kyle
      • 1 Year Ago
      The big question is, when does SRT have to release the ACR for homologation?
      mbukukanyau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let us not forget, there is a lot of teams out for blood this year. I believe Flying Lizard and the Corvettes are on top of their game, and the BMW's are a menace and a super disciplined Team. If you think the F1 is competitive, you have not followed ALMS GT. Lotus will have a much better car this year too, and Jaguar is trying its hand again this year. Ferrari too is in its third year of 'development' so this year they will probably be on top of their game, and boy are Ferrari's fast!. The C6 is my team, since I would like the C6 to go out while still king. Its not lost on them that next year they will be in development phase again with an all new car. So when all is said and done, I welcome SRT, but I hope for their sake, they do not assume its going to be easy. On the contrary, its gotten really really hot in ALMS. They might eventually get a victory, but its not going to be easy.
        Splooie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        As Porsche is only supporting a team in the WEC, Flying Lizard will drop down to GTC this year. Also Lotus failed to adequately support Alex Job Racing, and he has said he will not be back with the Evora. There are strong rumors AJR will be back with something in GT, probably a Ferrari. Risi is back with a new 458 as well. I completely agree with you about ALMS GT being the best racing on the planet, just filling you in with some developments.
          mbukukanyau
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Splooie
          Thank you for the update. It will be sad to see that Porsche Actually threw in the towel. I cannot beleieve it. But the Competation has just gotten too good. Even BMW struggled a lot last year, forcing them to make desparate moves that cost them big time, due to lack of speed. Also, Seeing Lotus go is sad.. I thought that car would come in this year with more speed. I am glad SRT is back, lets see how they shake up the field.
      fuzzyfish6
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can't wait for the ALMS season to start! Le Mans this year will be awesome!
      Clipper44
      • 1 Year Ago
      SRT Viper officially accepts invitation to WIN Le Mans!!
        mbukukanyau
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Clipper44
        Nice thought, but everyone is doing just that. Damn those yellow corvettes and those white BMW's
        VIPER94
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Clipper44
        Darn right they will!!!!
      VIPER94
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think a lot of people are underestimating this car and the teams potential. It was amazing 15 years ago, it will be amazing again.
        Bud
        • 1 Year Ago
        @VIPER94
        I doubt it. The basic design is the same as 15 years ago, as it the grossly sized engine vs the competition, and they already are even asking for waivers from the organizers to be competitive ?. Why - because they bring an old design ? This destroys the spirit of racing on an even field when one company is given breaks, because they are too lazy to do it right in the first place ?....
          Pj Taintz
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bud
          If you really,, truly believe the viper is an old design well than you are a fool. no, thats to easy you are an effen idiot.
      flynnhadskeath
      • 1 Year Ago
      I guess that means they are building a special 5.5 liter V10 for it.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
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