SRT MOTORSPORTS TEAMS CLAIM TOP-10 FINISHES AT SEBRING

Both SRT Viper GTS-Rs Display Plenty of Speed in Season Opene
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SEBRING, Fla. (March 16, 2013) – There are times when the finish order of a race falls short in painting a clear picture of the event. Such was the case Saturday at the season-opening American Le Mans Series event here at Sebring Int'l Raceway – the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring. Although the two SRT Viper GTS-Rs from SRT Motorsports posted top-10 finishes, the results failed to reflect the impressive performance on the track.

Reviving memories of its dominant performance 13 years earlier en route to the GTS Class title, Viper was once again at the front of the GT Class field at historic Sebring. The No. 91 Fast & Furious 6 SRT Viper GTS-R led more than 50 laps. It was the first time a Viper has led the field in an ALMS event since 2000.

"There's a bit of recognition that we've really come a long way and closed the gap," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Brand and Motorsports. "Our lap times were really, really close to the leaders. We led 50 laps and it's hard not to recognize that as an accomplishment. I couldn't be prouder for the team."

When the cars were on the track, both held their own with the rest of the GT field. The only thing that slowed the impressive performances by both Vipers were mechanical issues which required extended pit stops. Once the issues were corrected, both cars were as fast and competitive as they had been from the drop of the green flag.



"The speed was fantastic," said SRT Motorsports Racing Manager Gary Johnson. "Of course we're not going to be happy until we win one of these races but the speed was there. The drivers did a great job and the team was flawless on all our pit stops. The next race ought to be that much better. I think it proved that the cars have potential and the drivers are key to that. They brought it home without any contact with any other cars. That's a good thing to have. We weren't really sure where we were going to be (regarding speed of the cars) but I think this weekend opened everybody's eyes and hopefully, our competitor's too. It's obvious all the cars are pretty much on the same par. The top five cars (in the finish order) are from five different manufacturers. That's pretty cool. Next time, we don't want to finish fifth; we want to finish first."

The only problem in the 12-hour race for the No. 91 team of Marc Goossens, Dominic Farnbacher and Ryan Dalziel came during a scheduled pit stop for service and a driver change with just under three hours remaining. Everything went as planned until Farnbacher tried to fire the car for his stint at the wheel. It wouldn't fire and the team had to push the car behind the pit area to diagnose the problem. It took just over eight minutes to resolve the issue and get the Fast & Furious 6-sponsored machine back in competition. Despite the setback, the No. 91 was still running fifth and that's where it finished.

"I think we had a really good, solid race," said Goossens. "Today was proof of a whole group of people working very hard all winter. I'm proud of the whole team. It's just phenomenal to be part of it. I think we showed today that we are going to have a promising season."

Misfortune for the No. 93 Pennzoil Ultra SRT Viper GTS-R driven by Kuno Wittmer, Jonathan Bomarito and Tommy Kendall came in the fourth hour. It started with a drive pin issue and quickly evolved into more serious problems that required a lengthy stop of more than 30 laps for repairs. The team battled back, gaining two positions over the last third of the race to post the top-10 finish.

"I kept saying all winter I knew we were making progress and I was anxious to see how much," said Kendall. "We were right on par with the fast guys at certain stages of the race. It's a matter of stringing it all together. Speed is one piece of it but there's so much that goes into winning one of these things. The guys that win 'em a lot make it look easy but everyone knows it's not. They knew we were here for sure and that feels good."

Even with the impressive performance, much of the post-race conversation focused on how the team can improve for the next event.

"The car is obviously where it needs to be," said Bill Riley, VP and Chief Engineer, Riley Technologies. "I think we have a nice car. It's a lot easier to make a car like this reliable than make a reliable car fast. I think we're in the right realm but we have a lot of work to do just like we did after Atlanta (season-ending Petit Le Mans). I think the problems we have are smaller and easier to solve than we've ever had before. We're just going to keep working. I think the field knows we're here."



The next event on the ALMS schedule is a trip west for a two-hour timed event at the 1.968-mile, 11-turn Long Beach Street Course on April 20.

Race Results (GT Class) American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron

Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Sebring International Raceway Saturday, March 16, 2013

1. No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z1
2. No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia
3. No. 17 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
4. No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE
5. No. 91 Fast & Furious 6 SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R
6. No. 48 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
7. No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE
8. No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage V8
9. No. 007 Aston Martin Vantage V8
10. No. 93 Pennzoil Ultra SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R
11. No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1
12. No. 23 Ferrari F458 Italia



SRT Motorsports – Running Order Each Hour

Hour 1 – No. 91 – 5th
No. 93 – 10th
Hour 2 – No. 91 – 2nd
No. 93 – 10th
Hour 3 – No. 91 – 2nd
No. 93 – 8th
Hour 4 – No. 91 – 1st
No. 93 – 10th* (*mechanical issue, extended stop for repairs)
Hour 5 – No. 91 – 4th
No. 93 – 12th
Hour 6 – No. 91 – 5th
No. 93 – 12th
Hour 7 – No. 91 – 2nd
No. 93 – 12th
Hour 8 – No. 91 – 6th
No. 93 – 12th
Hour 9 – No. 91 – 3rd
No. 93 – 10th
Hour 10 – No. 91 – 6th* (*electrical problem, 8.23-minute stop for repairs, lost three laps)
No. 93 – 10th
Hour 11 – No. 91 – 6th
No. 93 – 10th
Hour 12 – No. 91 – 5th
No. 93 – 10th

© 2013 DOMINIK FARNBACHER | DESIGN + BRANDING BY HOTLAP