SRT Viper Pulls Out of this Year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans
Just over two years ago, we saw the first breath of life from the newly reborn Chrysler in the form of the SRT Viper. It was a bold statement from the automaker that had just avoided bankruptcy. And with the track-ready Viper GTS-R, a return to racing seemed to be the perfect followup statement. Or at least, for a short while. SRT Racing was originally slated to run the no. 92 and no. 93 Vipers in the GTE-Pro class at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, but the outfit just announced its withdrawal from the grueling endurance race. This news follows a fiery exit from the 12 Hours of Sebring and the announcement that SRT will be halting production of the road-going Viper for two months. PHOTOS: See More of the 2013 SRT Viper GT3-R
“We regretfully and respectfully decline to participate in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said President and CEO Ralph Gilles in a statement to Road and Track. “We are honored to once again be invited by the [race organizer, the automobile Club de l’Ouest] to compete in this historic event, and they were the first to be informed of our decision.”
PHOTOS: See More of the 2014 SRT Viper TA
While this news may come as a shock to many Viper faithful, Gilles promises that his team will “remain focused on our North American racing program in 2014.” Leaving a little bit of wiggle room at the possibility of a Viper return to Le Mans next year.
You may remember that last year was the Viper’s first team entrance into Le Mans in over 11 years. Both of those cars earned top 10 finishes in the race. The Vipers will continue to race in the newly formed TUDOR United Sports Car Championship. Their next race is April 12 in Long Beach.
PHOTOS: See More of the 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R