SRT® Viper GTS-Rs qualified 6th and 10th for Petit Le Mans
The SRT® Motorsports program saved its best for last during its abbreviated inaugural American Le Mans Series GT program, putting together its best qualifying effort of the season Friday as the SRT Viper GTS-Rs qualified 6th and 10th for the season-ending Petit Le Mans event.
Marc Goossens led the way in the #93 Pennzoil Ultra GTS-R, snapping off a best lap of 1:19.145 around the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta layout to earn the sixth spot on the GT class grid for Saturday's 10-hour endurance race. The effort gave the #93 car, which is co-driven by Tommy Kendall and Jonathan Bomarito, its best qualifying result since the team entered the ALMS with the new SRT Viper GTS-R in August. The top time carded by Goossens was less than a half-second off the pole-winning time posted by the Ferrari of Guy Cosmo.
"It was a very good qualifying run," Goossens remarked. "We were looking for a good start for the race but didn't know how much everybody was holding back in practice. Most of the time, we were anywhere between .5 and .8 out of P1. I thought they might have had a little extra for qualifying, but obviously not. It shows we're making a lot of progress through the races. This group is working so hard, I think we got rewarded here today, qualifying in the top six and being so close to the front.
"We qualified better than some people that are championship contenders," added Goossens. "All the credit goes to the team. There's been a lot of hard work this weekend. So far, we're very pleased but we shouldn't forget tomorrow is a very long race. We have to prove the reliability now."
The #91 Forza Motorsport Viper GTS-R gave the SRT Motorsports squad a pair of cars in the top 10 as Petit Le Mans veteran Dominik Farnbacher stopped the clocks at a best time of 1:19.839 to take the 10th spot. Farnbacher got the most he could out of his Michelin tires, posting his best time on his ninth lap, while Goossens hung his best time on his fourth trip around the Braselton circuit.
The Farnbacher-driven machine had a mishap early in last night's practice and could not complete the mandatory laps required in the nighttime session, and will start at the back of the grid in tomorrow's race. Because of that, Farnbacher used the 15-minute qualifying session as an impromptu test, and reports that he feels good about the car.
"Today was a good opportunity to use the qualifying session as a test run for us. We put on used tires and used the time more or less as a race situation," Farnbacher said. "We were very happy with the car and results. The team did an incredible job repairing the car. They worked until 3 o'clock (this morning) and the car was like new again. Thanks to my team. They're awesome."
Saturday's season-ending Petit Le Mans gets underway at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time and can be seen live over the internet on ESPN3.com. Fans can also follow via ALMS Radio, or can watch an edited version of the race that will air Sunday on ABC beginning at 1:00 p.m. Check back with driveSRT.com for more Viper reports on Saturday.