SRT® VIPER GTS-R SCORES TOP FIVE FINISH IN BALTIMORE
Race Marred by Early Red Flag and Multiple Mishaps
BALTIMORE (Aug. 31, 2013) – It was a battle of attrition and unsung heroes Saturday at Round 7 of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) on the streets of Baltimore. Multiple mishaps – including a scary multi-car wreck on Lap 1 – forced a one hour, 15 minute red flag delay. The race was restarted based on qualifying positions and the scheduled two-hour race ended up as a 69-minute sprint due to a track curfew.
SRT® Motorsports was led by the duo of Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens in the No. 91 Rush SRT Viper GTS-R with a fifth-place finish. Teammates Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer finished sixth in the No. 93 Pennzoil Ultra SRT Viper GTS-R.
“That was a crazy race especially the beginning,” Farnbacher said. “We were quite lucky that we could stay out of it (accident at the start of the race). The 93 got tangled up in the mishap but our SRT Motorsports team rocks. Who else could get the car back out within a few minutes? I mean the 93 car was completely totaled on the front and the guys brought it back out before the (race) restart. I’m very proud to be a part of that team.”
Officially six cars were involved in the opening-lap mishap, including the No. 93 Pennzoil Ultra SRT Viper GTS-R, which suffered a punctured radiator. The crew was able to make the repairs and return the No. 93 to the track for the restart while four other GT Class entries were forced to retire.
Driver Kuno Wittmer barley broke a sweat inside the No. 93 SRT Viper when he was collected in the accident on the very fast and long frontstretch that immediately turned the 2.04-mile street circuit into a cluttered parking lot.
“It’s definitely very, very frustrating to be at an event in Baltimore and end up on a flat tow (flatbed), not even getting to the green flag,” Wittmer said. “I’m unclear as to what happened in front of me but I clearly had GT cars spinning out in front of me. I had nowhere to go. I had the least amount of damage on any GT car involved. I was able to slow the car down but had nowhere to go. Unfortunately we punctured the radiator.”
With a dreary race outcome in front of them, the No. 93 SRT Viper pit crew used laser-focused teamwork and precision to fix the near catastrophic damage without losing a lap to the GT Class leaders.
“The main story that we can take from all this is how hard the SRT Motorsports crew worked today,” said Bomarito. “They took us from being out of the race to not losing a lap and getting some points. My hat’s off to all the guys. They were ready for every situation we could throw at them and proved they were really well prepared today.”
SRT Motorsports Racing Manager Gary Johnson echoed the sentiments of his drivers in recognizing the talents of his Riley Technologies-prepared race team.
“The 93 team did a terrific job,” Johnson said. “We thought we might have been done for the day but we got permissions to go back to the paddock, make repairs and get back for the start. The car wasn’t perfect but it was darn good and so was the 91. Both cars were really good in the race with very reasonable lap times. It was a strange race. It ended up being a sprint race. All the strategy kind of went out the window and the guys had to drive it pretty hard. I’m proud of both teams and the drivers.”
Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia (No. 3 Corvette) were the GT class winners, edging teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner (No. 4 Corvette) by 0.450 seconds. The No. 56 BMW finished third.
American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patron
Grand Prix of Baltimore Presented by SRT
Streets of Baltimore / Baltimore
Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013
GT Class Race Results
1. No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1
2. No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1
3. No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE
4. No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE
5. No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R
6. No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R
7. No. 23 Ferrari F458 Italia
8. No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 (DNS)
9. No. 17 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (DNS)
10. No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia (DNS)
11. No. 48 Porsche 911GT3 RSR (DNS)
Unofficial Manufacturer Standings
1. Chevrolet 131
2. BMW 111
3. SRT 99
4. Ferrari 79
5. Porsche 71