Vipers set for 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours return under Dodge banner

Chrysler is aiming to return to the Le Mans 24 Hours next season with its Viper GTE contenders running under the flag of the Dodge marque

Vipers set for 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours return under Dodge banner


Chrysler is aiming to return to the Le Mans 24 Hours next season with its Viper GTE contenders running under the flag of the Dodge marque.

The V10-powered muscle cars, which have up to now been badged as SRTs after the US giant's Street & Racing Technology brand, were withdrawn from this year's 24 Hours, but SRT director of motorsport marketing and operations Beth Paretta has revealed a clear intent to be back in 2015.

"Ideally we will be back and that is the goal, but we have to figure out how we do it," said Paretta, who was at Le Mans last weekend for meetings with race organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest.

"It would be a strategic decision because we do not sell Vipers in Europe, so there are a few things that need to align."

The latest Viper raced at Le Mans last year in its first full season of competition, after a limited programme of American Le Mans Series events in 2012.

Two factory SRT Viper GTS-Rs, built and run by Riley Technologies, were entered in the GTE Pro class for Le Mans this year, only to be withdrawn at the end of March.

Paretta confirmed that the reasons for this were financial.

"Adding two endurance races at Daytona and Watkins Glen to the schedule [on the creation of the United SportsCar Championship] meant extra expense, which meant we had to step back and get all our ducks in a row," she said.

The incorporation of SRT into the Dodge brand will result in a new livery for the Vipers for the remainder of this year's USC, starting with the Watkins Glen 6 Hours on June 29.

The cars, now known as Dodge Viper SRT GTS-Rs, will run in a red-and-white colour scheme that pays homage to the livery in which the first-generation Viper GTS-R achieved success in the US and at Le Mans in 1999 and 2000 (pictured).

The ORECA-run cars took class honours in the American Le Mans Series in those two season and won the Daytona 24 Hours outright and the GTS division at Le Mans in 2000.

The cars ran as Dodges in the US, but were branded as Chrysler Vipers in Europe.

shares
comments
Mark Webber glad he chose Porsche Le Mans drive not Ferrari F1 seat

Previous article

Mark Webber glad he chose Porsche Le Mans drive not Ferrari F1 seat

Next article

McLaren closing on return to the Le Mans 24 Hours with 650S GT car

McLaren closing on return to the Le Mans 24 Hours with 650S GT car
Load comments
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Plus

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Plus

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness

WEC
Aug 22, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Plus

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Plus

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
The Asian underdog taking on the mighty GT factories at Le Mans Plus

The Asian underdog taking on the mighty GT factories at Le Mans

The rising HubAuto team steps up to GTE Pro at Le Mans this year for an ambitious bid to take on the three works giants – and has every reason to be optimistic of achieving its goal in becoming the first privateer on the podium since 2016

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021