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Last 7 Days

by David Zalstein

The Viper will return to compete in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race in its first factory-backed entry since 2000.

Chrysler Group’s SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Motorsports Team is preparing two identical SRT Viper GTS-R racers to compete in the classic French endurance race for the first time since the American muscle car finished one-two in the GTS class consecutively from 1998 to 2000, after the team accepted an invitation in February from the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to challenge the LM GTE Pro class at the Le Mans 24 Hour.

Two identically prepared SRT Viper GTS-Rs will return to the Le

SRT president and CEO Ralph Gilles said racing was a cornerstone of the Viper’s illustrious history.

“The GTS-R has enjoyed great success at Le Mans in the past and we’re excited to start a new chapter of Viper racing at that historic venue.”

Based on the 477kW/814Nm SRT Viper production car unveiled at the 2012 New York auto show, the 335-372kW SRT Viper GTS-R race cars made their official return to racing in August last year competing in the American Le Mans Series.

Powered by an 8.4-litre V10 engine tied to a six-speed manual transmission, the 1521kg road-going SRT Viper claims performance figures of 0-100km/h in the low three-second range and a top speed of 331km/h.

(L) 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R and (R) 2013 SRT Viper GTS

SRT has announced its Le Mans drivers as Marc Goossens, Dominik Farnbacher, Jonathan Bomarito, Kuno Wittmer, Tommy Kendall and Ryan Dalziel.

The Viper’s racing history started in 1996 with the original GTS-R earning five international GT championships and the 1997 to 1999 FIA GT championships, in addition to the three successful Le Mans campaigns ending in 2000.

The 81st Le Mans 24 Hour will be run at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France starting from June 22.