By Patrick Rall
The 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R will return to racing in just 15
days at the American LeMans Series (ALMS) American Le Mans at Monterey
Presented by Patrón with the hopes of returning to the glory seen by the Viper
GTS-R in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Just in case any Viper fans out there have forgotten just how well the
Viper race program did in the world of endurance racing, the folks from the
ALMS have been good enough to put together a very brief 3 minute video
detailing the greatness of the original Viper GTS-R.
In the first year on the ALMS tour in 1999, the pair of
Vipers fielded by Team Oreca missed the first two events of the season but they
made their debut in the GTS class for the third race of the season. The Team Oreca Viper won their first race of
the ALMS season and went on to win all six races throughout the rest of the
1999 season. A Viper also turned the
fastest lap for the GTS class in all six of the wins in 1999.
The Team Oreca Vipers came out running hard for 2000,
starting the season with a class win at the 12 Hours of Sebring. The Vipers went on to post GTS class wins at
the next five events of the season for a streak of 12 straight class wins that
was eventually broken by a Corvette.
However, Viper went on to win the last 4 races on the 2012 season.
Sadly, in 2001 the Viper race program was no longer operated
by Team Oreca and with fading factory support, the Viper found itself on the
outside looking in. Luckily, with the
introduction of the 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R in just over two weeks, Dodge and SRT
fans may soon see a Viper driver atop the winner’s podium.
Check out the video below courtesy of the American LeMans