Tag Archives: Viper

24 Hours of Daytona Begins Today

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The debut of the new Tudor United Sports Car Championship begins today at 2:10 pm ET with the 52nd Rolex 24 at Daytona. You can follow the action on various TV channels throughout the 24 hour event or watch online. This year’s 24 Hours of Daytona begins a new era in sports car racing as the Grand Am Series and American Le Mans Series combined to form one united series. With 65 entries, this will be one of the largest 24 Hours of Daytona ever.

The new series is comprised is four classes of cars:

Prototype (P): The prototypes are the top tier teams from both the Grand Am and American LeMans Series. Some of the cars in this class include the Nissan DeltaWing, Ford EcoBoost, and the Corvette Daytona Prototype.

Prototype Challenge (PC): PC is a spec class that is a carry over from the American Le Mans Series. The series features cars built by Oreca with engines supplied by Chevrolet and tires from Continental.

GT Le Mans (GTLM): This GT LeMans class is a direct carry over from the American Le Mans Series. Cars in this class include the Corvette C7.R, Ferrari 458, SRT Viper, Porsche 911, and BMW Z4. All cars in this class must follow the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s GTE specification.

GT Daytona (GTD): The GTD class combines the Grand-Am GT & GX classes with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars from the American Le Mans GTC class.  GTD is by far the largest class and features 29 cars.

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I am looking forward to the new series as it allows the best teams of both series to compete against each other for the same championship. For a full run down of all 65 entries, I highly recommend the article posted by RennSport which describes the new series and includes images of each car. You can also follow live scoring here.

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2013 24 Hours of Le Mans Wrap-Up

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The 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans is in the books, and it produced exciting racing right down to the final hour. The headlines going into the 24 hour race was Audi vs. Toyota in LM P1 and the return of the SRT Viper in LM GTE Pro. While the Audi vs. Toyota battles were great, the Viper story was not as great. Both Viper’s finished the race, but they finished 8th and 9th. The Vipers pitted more often than most teams leading me to believe the V10s were very thirsty. Team Corvette did not have a great day either finishing 4th and 7th.

The death of Aston Martin driver Allan Simonsen early in the race left a somber feeling in the garage area, but the race continued. Team Aston Martin did well with car #97 finishing 3rd in LM GTE Pro.

The overall winner of the race, and winners of LM P1, was the #2 Audi. This was Audi’s fourth overall win in a row and their twelfth overall win. Drivers of the #2 car were Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish, and Loic Duval. The win was Kristensen’s ninth career win at Le Mans. They were followed by the #8 Toyota and #3 Audi. In LM P2, The #35 Morgan Nissan won followed by the #24 Morgan Nissan and the #26 Oreca Nissan.

In LM GTE Pro the #92 Porsche 911 RSR followed by their teammates in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR. The #97 Aston Martin Vantage V8 rounded out the top 3. And in LM GTE Am, the #76 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR won followed by the #55 Ferrari 458 Italia and the #61 Ferrari 458 Italia.

For the full results of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, click here.

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24 Hours of Le Mans Reaches Half Way

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The 81st running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans just passed 12 hours. The first half of the race has provided some great racing, and, unfortunately, tragedy. Aston Martin’s Allan Simonsen died as a result of injuries received in a crash on the fourth lap of the race. Team Aston Martin has continued to race at the request of his family. They currently lead in LM GTE Pro.

With 12 hours remaining, there is still a lot of racing to go. They are now in the night phase of the race and will have plenty of daylight tomorrow before the race is complete. The SRT and Corvette teams are struggling, but there is a long way to go. You can follow along on SPEED or access the full leader board by clicking here.

The current top 5 in each racing group are as follows:

LM P1

1. #2 Audi

2. #8 Toyota

3. #7 Toyota

4. #3 Audi

5. #13 Lola Toyota

LM P2

1. #35 Morgan – Nissan

2. #24 Morgan – Nissan

3. #38 Zytek – Nissan

4. #42 Zytek – Nissan

5. #46 Oreca – Nissan

LM GTE Pro

1. #99 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

2. #92 Porsche 911 RSR

3. #97 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

4. #91 Porsche 911 RSR

5. #51 Ferrari 458

LM GTE Am

1. #76 Porsche 911 GT3

2. #55 Ferrari 458

3. #61 Ferrari 458

4. #77 Porsche 911 GT3

5. #88 Porsche 911 GT3

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SRT Viper Returns to Le Mans

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The 90th 24 Hours of Le Mans will begin in a few hours, and for the first time in over 10 years, the SRT Viper will be part of the field. SRT Racing has entered two Viper GTS-Rs in the LM GTE Pro category. Viper fans, myself included, are hoping the Viper teams can recreate their successes at Le Mans. The Viper won its class in 1998, 1999, and 2000.

The SRT Viper GTS-R has been running in the American Le Mans Series this season and has had some success this season with the No. 91 Viper GTS-R finishing every race in the top-5. Gary Johnson, SRT racing manager has said, “Our plan is to be as competitive as we can and see what happens at the end.”

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Despite a slew of rule changes since the Viper last raced at Le Mans, expectations are high for the team. SRT has brought a talented group of drivers including Dominik Farnbacher, Ryan Dalziel, and Marc Goossens in the No. 53 Viper GTS-R. Drivers of the No. 93 Viper GTS-R are Tommy Kendall, Jonathan Bomarito, and Kuno Wittmer.

Follow SRT Racing on their website and their YouTube Channel where they produce the Beyond the Checkered Flag Series.

Coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans begins at 8:30 AM Eastern on Speed.

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90th 24 Hours of Le Mans Begins Tomorrow

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The 90th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans begins tomorrow morning. The historic race brings the biggest names in the auto world and racing world to the historic Circuit de la Sarthe in France. This year Ferrari, Audi, Lotus, Aston Martin, and Corvette will be joined by two new SRT Viper GTS-Rs. The Viper has had success at the 24 Hour race in the past, but has been absent from the field for over ten years. The Viper won the GTS class in 1998, 1999, and 2000 before leaving the series. The field (pictured above) is divided into four classes: LM P1, LM P2, LM GTE Pro, and LM GTE Am. For a full list of entries, click here.

I love this race because it tests  the reliability of the racing technology used by the teams. Most race series run their equipment for 2 – 3 hours, but a 24 hour race is the ultimate test of endurance, both on equipment and personnel.

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Coverage of the ultimate endurance race will be on Speed and Speed.com. The full schedule of coverage is listed below. Note: all times are Eastern.

 

Saturday, June 22

  • Le Mans 24 Hours (Start) 8:30am-2pm (SPEED TV)
  • Le Mans 24 Hours 2-4pm (SPEED.com)
  • Le Mans 24 Hours 4pm-7pm (SPEED)
  • Le Mans 24 Hours 7-7:30pm (SPEED.com)
  • Le Mans 24 Hours 7:30pm-Midnight (SPEED)

Sunday, June 23

  • Le Mans 24 Hours (Finish) Midnight-9:30am (SPEED)

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SRT Viper to Compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans

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SRT Racing has accepted an invitation to run two SRT Viper GTS-Rs in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. The race will be held June 22 – 23 at the historic track. The cars will be driven by Marc Goossens, Tommy Kendall, Kuno Wittmer, Dominik Farnbacher and Jonathan Bomarito. Other drivers and team members will be announced in the future. The 2013 entries will be a part of the LM GTE Pro Class. 

The Viper has a winning history at Le Mans with both cars finishing at the top of their class in 1998, 1999, and 2000. The new Viper GTS-R made its debut last season in the American Le Mans Series. Both cars are also scheduled to run the full 2013 ALMS season.

See the full announcement from Chrysler/SRT below:

De Retour! Viper set for Return to 24 Heures du Mans With SRT Motorsports

Two factory-supported SRT Viper GTS-Rs will compete in famous 24-hour endurance race in France in June

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — It’s official: Viper will return this year to the stage of some of its most impressive past road racing performances – the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.

SRT Motorsports today accepted an invitation from the ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) to field two SRT Viper GTS-Rs in the LM GTE Pro class of the 2013 24 Heures du Mans, June 22-23, officially returning the Viper sports car to one of the most prestigious automobile endurance races in the world.

The Viper finished one-two at the 24 Heures du Mans in GTS class competition three consecutive years – 1998 to 2000.

“Racing is truly a part of the illustrious history of Viper and a proving ground for the SRT brand,” said Ralph Gilles , President and CEO – Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “Historically the Viper GTS-R has enjoyed great success at Le Mans, so we couldn’t be more excited and proud to accept the challenge to return to France and continue composing the next chapter in the history of Viper racing at such an historic venue.”

Beth Paretta , Director of Marketing and Operations – SRT Brand and Motorsports, and SRT Motorsports driver Marc Goossens were on hand at today’s press conference in Paris to officially accept the invitation.

“The new SRT Viper GTS-R represents a rebirth for us in road racing by bringing an elevated level of technical sophistication to the track,” Paretta said. “The invitation to return to the 24 Heures du Mans gives SRT Motorsports and the SRT Viper GTS-R the opportunity to compete on a stage with the best sports car teams from around the world.”

SRT Motorsports teamed with Riley Technologies, based in Mooresville, N.C., on the design-and-build process of the SRT Viper GTS-R. Two identically prepared cars returned to competition last year at Mid-Ohio, the first of four test-and-tune races in preparation for a full 2013 schedule in the GT class in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patron .

In addition to Goossens, drivers returning to the SRT Motorsports lineup for 2013 will be Tommy Kendall , Kuno Wittmer , Dominik Farnbacher and Jonathan Bomarito . Additional team announcements will be revealed at a later date.

The Viper’s successful racing heritage began in 1996 with its first racing entry, the original GTS-R, which earned five international GT championships and the 1997 to 1999 FIA GT championships in addition to the three consecutive one-two finishes at the 24 Heures du Mans in the GTS class.

The Viper posted an amazing overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000 – the first for a production-based American car. Viper also captured GTS class and driver’s championships in ALMS competition in 1999 along with the series’ class, manufacturer’s and driver’s championship in 2000 before retiring from the series.

About SRT and SRT Motorsports
The Chrysler Group’s SRT (Street and Racing Technology) brand uses a successful product development formula featuring five proven hallmarks: awe-inspiring powertrains; outstanding ride, handling and capability; benchmark braking; aggressive and functional exteriors and race-inspired and high-performance interiors to remain true to its performance roots.

The SRT lineup in the 2013 model year features five vehicles that are world-class performance contenders and bring the latest in safety technologies and creature comforts. The Chrysler 300 SRT8, Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, Dodge Charger SRT8 and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 are joined by the SRT flagship Viper and Viper GTS models, which are making their highly anticipated return to the high-performance sports car market.

The engineering expertise within SRT extends well beyond its high-performance street vehicles. Technical support for the Chrysler Group’s various racing programs is provided by the astute engineers at SRT Motorsports, where lessons learned on the race track directly translate to improved vehicles for the company’s customers.

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The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

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Tonight, Chevrolet took the cover off the 2014 Corvette in grand fashion. The event was broadcast online and has been publicized for months.  One of the most surprising announcements of the night was the car’s name: Stingray. No Corvette has been given this badge since the late 1970s. Chevrolet felt this car was so special, that it was worthy of one of the most iconic nameplates in GM’s history. Stingrays are expected to begin hitting show room floors in September, and no pricing was announced. Nevertheless, a new Corvette is big news in the automotive world and the introduction of the C7 has been anticipated since the release of the C6 in 2005. Is the C7 worth the wait? Let’s explore the 2014 Corvette Stingray.

Specs

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

We will begin with the most important information. The drivetrain. The Corvette made the small block V8 into what it is today, and the 6.2 litre LT1 offered in the Corvette Stingray is all new. Producing 450 horsepower and 450 lb. ft. of torque, the numbers are not that much more than the C6. Paired with the LT1 are two new transmission options. Chevy is offering an all new seven-speed manual or a six-speed paddle shift. Both will offer impressive performance paired with that V8.

Chevrolet promises the new Corvette Stingray has 50/50 weight distribution and added stiffness to improve handling. In fact, the car’s entire frame is now constructed from aluminum, a feature once reserved for the Z06 and ZR1. Chevy claims that the new Corvette will achieve 0 – 60 in under 4 seconds and that the power to weight ratio of the C7 is better than the Porsche 911 and Audi R8. Those are some pretty big claims. Claims that will have to be tested in the future, but impressive for a base model. But nothing was said of independent suspension. Chevy will offer a Z51 performance package with a variety of improvements including Magnetic Ride Control, limited slip differential, dry sump system, close-ratio gearset, and additional coolers for the brakes, transmission and differential.

Interior

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Since the C5, the Corvette’s interior has been problematic, no, cheap. The plastic dash and uncomfortable seats have made the Corvette’s interior one of the most hated in the industry. One of the promises GM made with the regards to the C7 was an all new interior worthy of a world-class sports car. Certainly the new interior looks better, but anything would be an improvement in this department.

What has changed inside the Corvette? Chevy claims that the interior is all new, and it looks it. The dashboard has an all new, driver centered design, a new instrument cluster, a new infotainment system, and all new seats. The seats of the C5 and C6 were poor and the Corvette Stingray will come with two seats, GT and Competition. Both look inviting, but the Competition seats will feature a magnesium frame to save weight and add strength. But there are some oddities. The blocky steering wheel looks like it belongs in the Impala, not a Corvette, and the carbon fiber trim pieces look out of place. Although it is not perfect,  Chevrolet has paid more attention to the interior and it shows.

Exterior

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The exterior is where everything goes wrong for me. I have said on several occasions that if the Corvette was still made of fibre glass, in the world of aluminum, magnesium, and carbon fibre, that Chevrolet had already lost. Bad news: fibre glass it is. Why in the 21st century is a world class sports car still built from plastic?? I know, I know, carbon fibre is expensive, but aluminum is not and the entire frame of this car is made from it. If it is strong enough to frame the car, why can’t it make up the body as well?

Fibre glass aside, the Corvette now has the nose of a Viper, rear 3/4 of a GT-R, and the ass of a Camaro. The result of of an awkward three-way? There are too many lines on this car and it is hard for the eye to follow one line from start to finish with finding another. It reminds me of the current Hyundai Genesis Coupe in this regard. It is over-designed.

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Angular design works well on Lamborghinis, but it has not worked here. Softer lines have been a part of the Corvette’s heritage since the first car was unveiled in January 1953. A curvy body has graced the Corvette for most of its life. The designers went for something different, and I am not sure if it has worked. From the side, this car is clearly a Corvette as it has a silhouette that has been familiar since the C3. But from other angles, the car is just bizarre. Perhaps the most unappealing angle is from the rear. The square rear with the square tail lights belong on the Camaro. My only wish is that someone had taken away the designers’ rulers.

I am sure that the majority of Corvette enthusiasts will love the C7, just as there will be some that hate it. I have been pretty critical, and I do not want anyone to think that my negative posts about GM has anything to do with my opinion of the Corvette. As a car enthusiast, I have always had an admiration for the Corvette, and I loved the C6. But I think this car’s styling will make it tough for some Corvette enthusiasts to like, and that is not a bad thing. Controversial design makes a car more interesting, and I am looking forward to learning more about the 2014 Corvette Stingray throughout the year, and there is still a lot to be revealed. When will we see the convertible? Z06? ZR1? What about the C7-R?

In the meantime, watch the full unveiling video below.

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