By Patrick Rall
The pair of 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R race teams surely headed
into the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge presented by SRT with the hopes of
using the name that bears their brand name to improve their efforts but in the
end – things were worse than they were for any of the previous races.
Things started off rocky in the first practice sessions as
the #91 SRT Viper GTS-R was only able to turn in the 11th best time
in the 13 car GT field (24th overall) while the #93 SRT Viper team
struggled, finishing the first practice session as the slowest car in the GT
class and the 27th vehicle overall.
The second practice session of the day and the event offered the two
Viper GTS-R teams a chance to improve their positions in the field ahead of
qualifying but things would go much, much worse than the first session.
While the #91 Forza Motorsport Viper GTS-R had managed to
move up one notch to the tenth spot in the GT class, driving Dominic Farnbacher
ran into trouble just 8 laps into the sessions that would bring that practice
session to a halt and take the #91 car out of the event altogether. The accident happened when Farnbacher
attempted to overtake one of the cars in the slower GTC class as they entered
the 9th turn on the Baltimore street circuit. Unfortunately, the rear end hit a bump on the
rough road course and caused Farnbacher to lose control of the Viper – sending it
hard into the wall. While the Forza
Motorsport team would try to repair the car, the damages were too extensive to
safely get the #91 Viper back into the field. The car piloted by Farnbacher and Kumo
Wittmer would not run in Saturday’s ALMS race.
Things were slightly better for the #93 Pennzoil Ultra SRT
Viper GTS-R race team as the driver pair of Tommy Kendall and Marc Goossens was
able to put the yellow and silver Viper in the 9th spot in the GT
class (22nd overall) for the big Baltimore Sports Car Challenge
presented by SRT. Unfortunately, the 2
hour long race didn’t go nearly as well as at the end of the race, Marc
Goossens got a bit too friendly with fellow GT driver Guy Cosmo in the #2 Ferrari
F458. Goossens maneuver to get out of the
last place in the class did some damage to the #2 Ferrari and having decided
that the contact was avoidable – the ALMS judges called Goossens into the pits
for a 1 minute penalty. That penalty
secured the #93 Viper team’s place in the 12th and final spot in the
GT class – 18th overall.
Goossens and Kendal completed 65 laps, putting them two laps behind the
class winning Porsche
911 GT3 RSR piloted by Henzler and Sellers.
The 2013 SRT
Viper GTS-R race teams have two more events in the 2012 ALMS season to improve
ahead of their first full campaign in 2013.
The next event is September 13-15 at Virginia International Raceway
followed by the series finale – the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on October 17-20.