Chrysler is to take on Ferrari, Porsche and Chevrolet with the new-generation Dodge Viper in the American Le Mans Series.
The US manufacturer announced the race programme when it launched the road-going SRT Dodge Viper at the New York Auto Show in April. The GTE class racing version, to be known as the SRT Viper GTS-R, is already under development by Riley Technologies and is scheduled to race before the end of the season.
Development started at Riley, best known for its racing programmes with General Motors, in October. The first car has already run without its deinitive Roush Industries-built V10 powerplant and was due to begin proper testing in May. No date has been set for the car’s first race appearance.
Riley tech boss Bill Riley said of the irst race: “It will be this year and it will be with two cars straight away.” Drivers already signed include long-time Riley driver Marc Goossens and Allan Simonsen.
Chrysler has yet to commit to taking the Viper to Le Mans. Johnson said: “That is one of our goals, but right now it is not our primary focus, which is to get the car competitive in the ALMS. The Le Mans decision hasn’t been made, but it would make sense to go back.”
Chrysler developed the original Viper coupe for racing for the 1996 season. The car went on to score a trio of class victories at Le Mans and notch up major titles in the FIA GT Championship and the ALMS.