Bill Riley may have said it best.
The owner of Riley Motorsports and Riley Technologies says his expectations as the 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R returns to competitive racing are simple and well-grounded.
“Our objective is to have a nice clean race," says Riley, who is partnering with SRT Motorsports to bring the Viper back to the track. "We need to get one under our belts.”
And that's exactly what happened today at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
In front of an exuberant crowd and with the threat of rain overhead, SRT Motorsports’ Team Viper was on a mission – to have both SRT Viper GTS-R race cars running at the finish of the race in the GT class.
Team Viper was making its return to the ALMS series. Not only were both cars running at the finish, the performance improved throughout the two-hour, 45-minute timed event. As an added bonus, one of the Viper GTS-Rs had a top-10 finish.
Kuno Wittmer and Dominik Farnbacher finished 10th in the No. 91 Forza Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R while Marc Goossens and Tommy Kendall were 12th in the No. 93 Pennzoil Ultra SRT Viper GTS-R.
“Our first goal was to get through the race without any major problems,” said Gary Johnson, Road Racing Manger – SRT Motorsports. “We accomplished that. In fact, we were making progress throughout the race. The cars were getting better. The race gives us an opportunity to know where the issues are and where we need to focus.”
“It wasn’t pretty but both cars finished,” said Riley. “We’ve got a lot to build on. We’re about two seconds off where we need to be and that showed in the race. Now we need to build on that and go from there. We were consistent but there are things we have to work on. There are gains to make with the car. We’ll keep chipping away on it. I think we’ll get about half of the gap taken care of pretty quickly.”
Right now, SRT Motorsports officials are not saying when their next race will be. Johnson says the situation "is to be reviewed. We'll look at how the weekend went here and, based on that, will have an opportunity to make an announcement on future racing this year.”
The American Le Mans Series is a racing series based in North
America. It consists of a series of endurance and sprint races and
was created in the spirit of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Teams compete
in one of five current classes: P1, P2 & PC Le Mans Prototypes,
and GT(E) & GTC Grand Touring cars. Race lengths vary from 1
hour 40 minutes to 12 hours.