Last year, Chrysler campaigned a pair of SRT Viper GTS-Rs in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was the first time Auburn Hills had sent a team to the famous French endurance race since 2000, when the Viper ended a three-year winning streak in the GTS class. It finished in 24th and 31st places, woefully behind the Porsche 911 RSR that won the LMGTE Pro category. But this year it won't be back.
According to a report from Sportscar365 citing a statement issued by SRT chief Ralph Gilles, the outfit turned down its invitation from the ACO that organizes the race, ending what could have been a multi-year campaign. Instead it's opting to focus on its Stateside campaign in the United SportsCar Championship. SRT sent Autoblog the following statement:
"We regretfully and respectfully decline to participate in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. "We are honored to once again be invited by the ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest) to compete in this historic event, and they were the first to be informed of our decision. We will remain focused on our North American racing program in 2014."
In its place, the Ferrari 458 fielded by JMW Motorsport will be invited to fill the last slot in the class, leaving only the Corvette and Dempsey Racing entries to represent the United States in the race this year. "Hopefully, we'll continue to go to Le Mans for many years to come," as SRT's marketing chief Beth Paretta put it when announcing the effort a year ago, "but as a sports-car fan, if you can make the trip even once, it's worth it."