Jake vs The Snake - Viper Returns
It was announced at the 2012 New York Auto Show that the Viper would return to ALMS competition some time in 2012, and full season 2013 with a 2 car full factory effort team.
Here are the facts:
-ACO regulations define the minimum engine displacement as 5.5L, but have given SRT Viper a waiver to run a 8.0L engine. This is not an ALMS only waiver, this is a full ACO waiver.
-SRT Motorsports is partnering with Roush Industries on the development of the 8.0L V10.
-As of the announcement, Riley Technologies had no real race cars built yet.
-Other than 3 drivers, Kuno Wittmer, Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens, there is no team in place yet.
As for the engine, this is obviously a sore spot in everyone's side, especially since Corvette was forced from 7.0L down to 6.0L then down to 5.5L. Our guess is that they will be restricted on revs, as well as intake size, and probably weight for at least a while until their true performance is observed. But with operating at lower revs, means less wear and tear on the engine. This is exactly what the 5.5L rule was made to prevent.
In addition, it has also been rumored that SRT has been in talks with the FIA and ACO to change the GTE regulations for 2014 to allow up to 8.0L. Since Oreca, the French motorsport company, isn't running the program this time, we are not sure if the French will want to make that drastic of a change to its most balanced class.
Of course this isn't the first Viper to race in the ALMS in recent years. The Primetime Viper from a few season back was heavily restricted. So much so that they could not be competitive even mid-pack. But on the other hand they were not a factory effort.
SRT has not said it directly, but we know their main goal is to beat Corvette. They have taken a few small stabs at GM/Corvette here and there, but no blood has been drawn...yet.
Graham Henckel - Chief Engineer for SRT Viper claims they will not put the SRT badge on anything that isn't racetrack proven. Our question is: How many races have the Jeep, Ram, Neon, Charger, 300, Crossfire, and Caliber entered or won?
As for Corvette.....do we really need to make a list?
Regardless, we welcome the competition. The more competition there is, the better the victories are.