By Patrick Rall
Today at 3:15pm, the GT and GTS classes from the American
LeMans Series took the track, marking the official debut of the 2013 SRT Viper
GTS-R and the Viper’s return to racing – although things certainly could have
gone a little better. After the two hour
practice session, the pair of Viper teams found themselves in the last and
third-to-last spot in the GT Class.
The #91 Forza Motorsport 4 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R driven by
Kumo Wittmer and Dominic Farnbacher turned in a best lap of 1:22.891 with a speed of 98.066
which put this team in the 11th spot in the 13 car field. The #93 Pennzoil Ultra 2013 SRT Viper
GTS-R driven by Marc Goossens and Tommy Kendal had a best time of 1:23.759 with a speed of 97.050,
making the #93 car the slowest GT Class entry during the first ever practice
session for the new Vipers. This isn’t great
news but it should be emphasized that this is the first chance for the drivers
to practice with their new race cars during a sanctioned event and with two
more practice sessions set for tomorrow morning before qualifying – I expect to
see some stronger times from the two Viper teams.
while the majority of the competition in the ALMS GT Class ran anywhere from 36
to 53 laps during the 2 hour practice session, the two 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R
teams ran far fewer laps. The #91 team
ran 28 laps (turning in their best time on lap #13) while the #93 team ran just
16 laps (turning their best time during lap #11). No explanation has been offered by the SRT
folks but the official ALMS Twitter feed posted that at roughly 4:40pm, the #93
was being pushed down the pit road – suggesting that the Pennzoil Ultra Viper
may have run into some mechanical issues. I have contacted SRT team members but Ive not heard back as to what was the cause for the shortened practice session.
to head into the DodgeForum.com professional racing section where you will find
a pictorial spotters guide for Saturday’s race showing all of the entered teams
along with a list of the results from practice sessions #1 for the ALMS Mid
Ohio Sports Car Challenge.
begins tomorrow with full coverage on ESPN3 (via the Xbox Live network) at
12:15pm. The race is set to run starting
at 1:05pm on Saturday with the television broadcast beginning on ABC at 2pm
to DodgeForum.com for more on the Viper’s return to the world of LeMans racing!