Chrysler withdraws SRT Viper squad from Le Mans 24 Hours
|Wednesday, March 26th 2014, 13:38 GMT|
Chrysler has withdrawn its factory SRT Viper squad from this year's Le Mans 24 Hours.
Chrysler, which returned to the French enduro under the SRT brand (Street Racing Technology) last season, has issued only a short statement explaining its decision not to contest the race with its pair of Riley-run SRT Viper GTS-Rs in the GTE Pro class.
SRT company president and CEO Ralph Gilles said: "We are honoured to once again be invited by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest to compete in this historic event, and they were the first to be informed of our decision.
"We will remain focused on our North American racing programme [in the United SportsCar Championship] in 2014."
ACO sporting manager Vincent Beaumesnil stated that he believed that the Vipers would be back in 2015.
"We're confident that in 2015 SRT will be back at Le Mans and we'll be only too delighted to welcome this exceptional entrant again," he said.
The Vipers were to be driven by Jonathan Bomarito, Kuno Wittmer and Rob Bell, and Marc Goossens, Dominik Farnbacher and Jeroen Bleekemolen.
The withdrawal means that that two reserves on the GTE side of the entry list move up to take firm grid spots for the race on June 14/15.
European Le Mans Series regular JMW Motorsport and Team Taisan, which is returning to Le Mans for the first time since 2006, will now both contest the race in the GTE Am class with their respective Ferrari 458 Italias.
The Risi Competizione squad, whose Ferrari was to have been run for US entrant Tracy Krohn, has given up its place as fifth reserve on the GTE entry.
The Boutsen LMP2 squad, which was fourth prototype reserve, has also withdrawn.