It's been a big year for the SRT (formerly Dodge) Viper, after a big unveil in Detroit this past January of both the production coupe and the GTS-R competition model. The latter has been hyped as the chariot for Chrysler's triumphant return to GT-class racing, flying under the SRT Motorsports banner, and its first trial by fire was this past weekend at the American Le Mans Series event that took place at Mid-Ohio.
Four drivers - Kuno Wittmer and Dominik Farnbacher (#91 Forza Motorsports) and Marc Gooseens and Tommy Kendall (#93 Pennzoil Ultra) - got behind the wheel of their respective SRT Viper GTS-Rs and fought through the field of Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs, BMW M3s and Chevrolet Corvettes C6 ZR1s (plus a few Ferrari 458 Italias and Lotus Evoras) in order to post a 10th place finish for the #91 car. The #93 Viper GTS-R managed to finish the race, but was plagued by a number of problems out on the track that saw it actually leave the course at one point just prior to the finish.
With the next event at Road America approaching in two weeks, how did SRT Motorsports react to its top-10 finish at Mid-Ohio? "Our first goal was to get through the race without any major problems," said Gary Johnson, the team's manager. "The race gives us an opportunity to know where the issues are and where we need to focus."
The Viper has always been a force to be reckoned with in GT-class racing, and once the new SRT Motorsports program finds its footing, there's no reason to doubt that the updated Viper GTS-R won't enjoy similar success. Currently, both cars are owned and operated by Riley Technologies, in partnership with Chrysler. A full ALMS season for the GTS-R is projected for 2013.