SRT Motorsports Pre-Race Report - Road Race Showcase at Road America
After the No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R captured its first victory of 2014 in the Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the team's most-recent event, SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Motorsports now heads to Wisconsin's Road America for the Road Race Showcase, Aug. 8-10, the site of the team's first win in 2013.
Drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer drove the No. 93 Viper to the checkered flag at the historic Indy track, adding to the considerable momentum the SRT team will carry to Wisconsin, the location of the Viper GTS-R's first win since returning to sports car racing in 2012. Now the team enters Road America having tallied a victory, a pole position and five podium finishes in the previous three IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship events.
With their win, the No. 93 Viper currently ranks second in the championship points standings as they head to Wisconsin, while the No. 91 Viper sits fourth.
In 2013, Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens captured the victory at Road America in the No. 91 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R, while Bomarito and Wittmer were also in contention for the win. Using differing fuel strategies, the No. 91 Viper team was able to save fuel to take the checkered flag due to a late-race caution. Had the race stayed green, the No. 93 Viper would have been in position to win with ample fuel if the leaders had pitted.
For SRT Motorsports, the 2013 Wisconsin victory was the team's first since they returned to racing in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 2012 and in the team's first full-time season. The triumph also marked the Viper GTS-R's first top-tier sports car victory since 2000.
The Road Race showcase, the eighth event for the GTLM class in the 2014 IMSA schedule, will take place at 12:15 p.m. CDT at Wisconsin's Road America on Sunday, Aug. 10. The race will be broadcast at 5:30 p.m. CDT on FOX Sports 1.
SRT Motorsports Storylines for Road America
VIPER STRIKE: SRT Motorsports captured its first victory of the 2014 IMSA TUDOR season when the No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R and drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer took first in the Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in late July. The result was the team's second victory and came in the team's second full-time season. The triumph was the first for the team in the IMSA TUDOR series.
STILL SURGING: The Dodge Viper SRT GTS-Rs have surged in recent weeks and enter Road America with considerable momentum. After the two Vipers recorded dual podium results in back-to-back races, the No. 93 Viper took first at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the team's most recent competition. Over that period, the team has tallied a win, one pole position and five podium finishes.
STILL SURGING TOO: In addition to the No. 91 and 93 Viper GTS-Rs, the No. 33 ViperExchange.com Dodge Viper GT3-R has also experienced recent success. Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen captured a GTD class victory from the pole at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in July. Keating followed that up with a win in the GT3-R in the Grassroots Motorsports Ultimate Track Car Challenge at Virginia International Raceway.
FIRST FIRST: The SRT Motorsports team captured its first victory since returning to sports car competition at Road America in 2013 when the No. 91 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R took first in the GT class in the ALMS event at the track. Farnbacher and Goossens took first in the No. 91 Viper, but were low on fuel - should the leaders have needed to pit, the No. 93 Viper with Bomarito and Wittmer would have claimed the lead, but finished sixth. The victory was the first for the Viper in top-tier sports car competition since 2000.
BOMBER SPEED: SRT Motorsports driver Jonathan Bomarito won the pole for last year's race at Road America, which marked his second-consecutive pole position in 2013. Bomarito posted a top lap of 2:03.410 on the 4.048-mile circuit to take the top spot in the GT class. His Road America pole came one race after he recorded the best lap at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to earn back-to-back pole positions. While all four SRT Motorsports drivers have earned pole positions with the team, Bomarito leads the group with two poles. Goosens and Wittmer won poles earlier this season at Daytona International Speedway and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, respectively, while Farnbacher took the pole on the Long Beach, Calif., street circuit in 2013.
AT HOME ON TOP: The Dodge Viper SRT GTS-Rs have earned seven podium finishes in 2014, the most among the GTLM class. With SRT Motorsports tallying podiums in five-of-seven races - including dual podiums with both Vipers at New York's Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park - the team has two more podium finishes than the next closest manufacturer.
SNAKES SHED SKIN: SRT Motorsports returned to the Dodge Viper's classic livery during the Watkins Glen International race weekend in an effort to honor the Viper's racing heritage. Sporting 'Viper Red' and 'Race White,' the team has now recorded one win, one pole position and five podiums in the same colors worn by Dodge Viper entries that took the overall victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2000, a GTS class win in the 2000 24 Hours of Le Mans, and American Le Mans Series (ALMS) championships in 1999 and 2000. The team will continue to utilize the classic livery throughout the 2014 season.
SRT POINTS PRIMER: After seven of 11 races for the IMSA TUDOR GTLM class, the Viper SRT GTS-Rs rank second (No. 93) and fourth (No. 91) in the team standings with 206 and 195 points, respectively. Bomarito and Wittmer are second in the driver standings with 206 points, while Farnbacher and Goossens sit in fourth with 195 points. In the manufacturer standings, SRT ranks third with 215 points, seven marks behind first place.
SRT Motorsports Quotes for Road America
Dominik Farnbacher, driver, No. 91 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R
Are you excited to return to Road America?
"I have good memories from our first victory there. It's a very fast track with a lot of elevation changes, the carousel and all kinds of corners. I really like the blind corners because it's where you have to trust in yourself and the car; which makes it very unique."
How did it feel to win at Road America in 2013?
"Last year was a great race and a historic moment for the Viper program, it had been almost 13 years since the last major win, it was very meaningful for the whole team. We hope to go back and do the same. The Viper was really strong there and we had a great setup. At the start of the race, it was raining which required a great deal of teamwork. Marc did a fantastic job getting to first place after the restart."
Marc Goossens, driver, No. 91 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R
Is Road America a track that suits your driving style?
"If you go there with a relatively new program and you take your first win, you automatically get the impression you're well suited for the track. I've mentioned this before, most all the tracks - Road America, Atlanta, VIR -like the Viper and the Viper likes those tracks. It's all about how we roll off the trailer, starting with a solid setup and fine-tuning the car for a specific track."
Why do you like Road America?
"For us European drivers, the elevation changes and the high-speed corners are the challenges we love. A lot of race tracks in Europe are built in a very similar way. At Road America, you've got a bit of everything, elevation changes, bumpy and smooth areas, curbs that you can run and some you can't. It's the combination of items that really makes me like it. And, like last year, we had a good setup for that track."
Jonathan Bomarito, driver, No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R
How was the team in position to win with either Viper at Road America in 2013?
"Basically the way it was working out with SRT's engineering and strategy, we worked together and we were on two opposite strategies. If we got a yellow flag, the 91 was going to make it to the finish and win. If it stayed green the whole time, the 93 Viper was the only one that didn't need to pit. Either way, SRT was going to get its first win."
Kuno Wittmer, driver, No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R
Do you think the Viper GTS-R takes well to Road America?
"It's definitely a course that suits the Viper GTS-R very well. Coming off a win and having won there last year with the sister car, it's time go back and win again at Road America. However, while the circuit is favorable to the Viper, Jonathan getting the lap record and pole position, and the sister car taking the whole thing; I don't believe our homework is done and I'm sure other manufacturers are doing their work too. We have to put our head down and focus one race at a time."
SRT Motorsports Team Lineup for Road America
No. 91 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R
Driver: Dominik Farnbacher (Germany)
Driver: Marc Goossens (Belgium)
Lead Engineer: Bill Riley
No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R
Driver: Jonathan Bomarito (United States)
Driver: Kuno Wittmer (Canada)
Lead Engineer: Matt Bejnarowicz
Name: Road Race Showcase at Road America (race eight of 11 for GTLM)
Date: Aug. 10, 2014
Time: 12:15 p.m. CDT for two hours and 45 minutes
Track: Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc., 4.048-mile circuit
TV Broadcast: FOX Sports 1 at 5:30 p.m. CDT