Tommy Kendall and Marc Goossens are racing the number 93 Pennzoil Ultra 2013 Dodge Viper GTS-R at Road America. [John Wiedemann Photo]
Dodge Continues Return To ALMS At Road America
by John Wiedemann
Elkhart Lake, WI - The 2013 Viper GTS-R continues Dodge's return to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with the second race on their schedule at the 4.048 mile road course of Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI.
Dominik Farnbacher and Kuno Wittmer practice the #91 Forza Motorsports Viper at Road America. [John Wiedemann Photo]
Driver teams of Tommy Kendall and Marc Goossens in the number 93 Pennzoil Ultra Viper and Dominik Farnbacher and Kuno Wittmer in the number 91 Forza Motorsports Viper will compete in identical SRT Viper GTS-R race cars in the production-based GT class this weekend.
Dodge captured GTS class and driver's championships in the American Le Mans Series in 1999 along with the Series' class, manufacturer's and driver's championships in 2000 before retiring from the series. Starting with the ALMS event at Mid-Ohio two weekends ago, the Viper will complete the final five races of the ALMS season and run the full schedule in 2013.
Dodge's return at the two hour and forty-five minute event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge was a success with Kuno Wittmer and Dominik Farnbacher finishing in tenth while Marc Goossens and Tommy Kendall brought their Viper home in twelfth.
With the goal accomplished of having both cars finish the debut race at Mid-Ohio, the Dodge teams are not about to get too ambitious in their expectations as they prepare for the 2013 season.
"Even though both cars finished, it wasn't exactly smooth sailing," explained Tommy Kendall, a four-time Trans Am champion and 24 Hours of Daytona class winner. "So, I would have to say a realistic goal is to have a 'routine' run for both cars where we make the scheduled number of stops, driver changes, etc. and to extract a little more of the potential from the Viper GTS-R's potent chassis."
This weekend's event at Road America will feature long straights that may be a problem for the team as they continue to improve on aerodynamics and work on producing more power out of the 8.0 Liter V10 engine. The length of the event, four hours, will also test the endurance of the Viper GTS-R, the drivers and the crew.
"As excited as I was to get to Mid-Ohio for our debut, I am looking forward to going to Road America even more! It is my favorite circuit in the world," said Kendall. "I can't wait to hear the SRT Viper's V10's music bellowing through Thunder Alley!"
Qualifying for the ALMS GT division kicks off at 3:55pm CST Friday, August 17 at Road America. The 2012 Road Race Showcase ALMS event, round seven on the ALMS schedule, is scheduled to get underway at 2:30pm CST Saturday, August 18.