SRT® Viper GTS-R crosses big hurdle in Baltimore street race

Today’s Baltimore Sports Car Challenge Presented by SRT provided another stern challenge for the new SRT Motorsports program as the team continued its preparations for a full-time return to the American Le Mans Series GT Class in 2013.The two-car SRT Viper squad was down to half-strength for Saturday afternoon’s battle around the two-mile Baltimore street course, but the #93 Pennzoil Ultra SRT Viper GTS-R driven by Tommy Kendall and Marc Goossens was equal to the task.Showing competitive pace throughout the two hours, the SRT Viper GTS-R ran in the eighth spot for much of the day, before a late-race incident with the #02 Ferrari of Ed Brown and Guy Cosmo knocked the car out of the race and into 12th place. But despite the late accident, the entire team was extremely encouraged by their performance.”That race felt like what it was supposed to feel like for both myself and the car,” Kendall said. “We’re in the conversation now and I knew from warm-up the car had pretty good pace. A huge step forward for us. At the end of the day, having an incident while you’re racing with a Ferrari for position, that’s great stuff. Marc (Goossens) didn’t mean to do it. He got it locked up there and then he just couldn’t stop. It’s exciting that we are able to race competitively on this type of circuit.”The Kendall/Goossens tandem flew a solo mission as the #91 Forza Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R of Dominik Farnbacher and Kuno Wittmer missed today’s race due to damage sustained in an accident Friday. The car had a hard impact at the end of the pre-qualifying practice session that caused enough damage to keep the car out of Saturday’s race.”We had a pretty tough weekend I’d say. We had a lot of, I guess, drama to the team but I think we ended on a pretty high note,” said Matt Bejnarowicz, Lead Engineer – SRT Motorsports Team Viper. “We made progress the whole weekend and I think the race showed that we are closing the gap on the leaders. It’ll be good to have a little bit of a break here because we’ve run back-to-back races every two weeks. The team has really pushed hard to get us back in the right shape. You know we have a little bit of breathing room to assess where we’re at and apply what we’ve learned to make the car go a little bit closer to the lead cars.”The weekend’s big test was in the handling and pace of the SRT Vipers on the tight Baltimore street course, and the team showed its adaptability by getting faster throughout the weekend. The #93 car ran competitive laps and held their top-10 spot all day, climbing as high as fourth at one point in the race.”The car went really well today. We had a good gap to close up to the lead pack which we’ve all been working on,” said Bill Riley, vice president of Riley Technologies. “We’re closing that gap every race. I’m pleased we made another good step forward. We just have to keep working on it. We have a test at Road Atlanta in two and a half weeks so we should get the (#91) car fixed for that but it’s going to be some long hours at the shop.”

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