The SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GTS-Rs visit historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway hunting their first victory of the season in Friday's Brickyard Grand Prix after posting consecutive double podium finishes in the previous two events.
As SRT Motorsports makes its first appearance at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the team enters the track with confidence coming off its best-ever, two-race span - results of second and third in each of the last two IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship events.
In the team's most-recent race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Mosport), the No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R started from the pole and finished second with drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer, while the No. 91 TI Automotive Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R took third place. In the event prior, the No. 91 Viper and drivers Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens finished as the runner-up and the No. 93 Viper claimed third at New York's Watkins Glen International.
Combined with the Vipers' double podiums in the IMSA TUDOR's GTLM class, recent victories by Riley Technologies-built Dodge Viper SRT GT3-Rs, including a win by SRT Motorsports' driver Wittmer, are adding to the team's confidence.
Run out of the same Mooresville, N.C.-based shop as the GTLM program, Viper GT3-Rs recently captured victories in three series over an eight-day span. Wittmer took the checkered flag in Sunday's World Challenge race in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, marking the Viper GT3-R's first GT class victory in the series. Viper GT3-R driver Ben Keating won the GTD class in the IMSA TUDOR Mosport race and then went on to win the Ultimate Track Car Challenge at Virginia International Raceway in the same Viper on Friday.
As the team visits Indianapolis after the recent Viper wins, they will do so with a new supporter in TI Automotive, the primary sponsor for the No. 91 TI Automotive Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R, at the historic track.
The Brickyard Grand Prix, the seventh event for the GTLM class in the 2014 IMSA schedule, will be broadcast live from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, July 25 at 5:30 p.m. EDT on FOX Sports 1.
FAMILIAR RESULTS: SRT Motorsports finished second (93) and third (91) in the SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park after Montreal's Kuno Wittmer started the race from the pole and finished second in the No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R. The result was SRT's second-consecutive dual podium after the Vipers finished second (91) and third (93) at Watkins Glen in June. A year prior, the Vipers recorded their first dual podium in Canada when the No. 91 Viper took second and the No. 93 finished third. The team now has three dual podiums in 21 events in the IMSA TUDOR series and American Le Mans Series.
SUMMER SURGE: The Viper team hit its stride in the summer months of 2013 and SRT Motorsports again appears to be peaking in the summer heat. During the 2013 season's summer months, the team captured a victory, two poles and four podiums over a four-race span. In 2014, SRT Motorsports has now collected dual podiums in consecutive events, in addition to the pole position for this year's Canada race. With confidence running high in Riley Technologies' Mooresville, N.C.-based shop, the Viper program is hopeful for continued success throughout the summer of 2014 - and the team is yet to visit the site of its 2013 victory, Wisconsin's Road America, the event after Indianapolis on the IMSA calendar.
INDY SPEED SHOW: SRT Motorsports driver Jonathan Bomarito has made one appearance at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the GRAND-AM Road Racing Series and posted a strong showing in his only visit to the track - a runner-up finish after winning the GT class pole with a speed of 100.957 mph in 2012.
VIPERS STRIKE VICTORY LANE: While SRT Motorsports is still hunting its first victory in the 2014 IMSA TUDOR GTLM class, Dodge Viper SRT GT3-Rs have captured a number of recent wins, including one with Wittmer at the wheel. The Canadian driver claimed a GT victory in the second-of-two World Challenge races in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Sunday, marking Wittmer's first victory in the series since competing full-time in World Challenge from 2006 through 2010. In addition, Viper driver Ben Keating, who won the GTD class from the pole in the IMSA TUDOR's Canadian event, was victorious in the Ultimate Track Car Challenge at Virginia International Raceway on Friday. The victories gave the Viper GT3-R wins in three different classes of competition over an eight-day span.
TI AUTOMOTIVE ON THE SKIN: The No. 91 TI Automotive Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R will wear a new livery for the Indianapolis race to display primary sponsor TI Automotive's colors. The new livery will feature a white body with a bold, bright green stripe outlined in dark blue from nose to tail, along with TI Automotive's blue-and-green logo. The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company, a leading global supplier of automotive fluid systems, will serve as the primary sponsor for the No. 91 Viper at Indianapolis. Following the Indianapolis race, TI Automotive will continue to partner with SRT Motorsports as a team associate sponsor, in addition to TI Automotive's work with the production Viper and Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
RED VIPER OF DETROIT: While its sister entry wears the blue and green colors of TI Automotive, the No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R will continue to carry the classic 'Viper Red' and 'Race White' livery that was reintroduced in June. SRT Motorsports returned to the Dodge Viper's classic livery at Watkins Glen International to honor the Viper's racing heritage, including victories the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2000, the 2000 24 Hours of Le Mans, and American Le Mans Series (ALMS) championships in 1999 and 2000.
SRT POINTS PRIMER: After six of 11 races for the IMSA TUDOR GTLM class, the Viper SRT GTS-Rs rank third (91) and fourth (93) in the team standings with 171 and 170 points, respectively. Farnbacher and Goossens are second in the driver standings with 171 points, while Bomarito and Wittmer sit in third with 170 points. In the manufacturer standings, SRT ranks fourth with 180 points, 14 marks behind first place.
SRT Quotes for Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Dominik Farnbacher, driver, No. 91 TI Automotive Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R
How do you use video footage to prepare for a new circuit?
"What I'm looking for is the speed a driver takes into the corner, what gear they used, what braking point they used, what brake marker was used and reference points on the track. The first practice session is when you learn everything and try to orientate yourself from the video. Other than that, you learn a lot from scratch and find your own reference points. Our GTLM cars have not raced there before and it does present a challenge for us."
Marc Goossens, driver, No. 91 TI Automotive Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R
How do you prepare for an unfamiliar circuit?
"I have never been active on the Indy track, so it's hard for me to know what exactly to expect. Of course, it is one of the venues that everyone wants to race at. Tracks like Le Mans (Circuit de la Sarthe), (Circuit de) Monaco and Indy are recognized worldwide as special places, which is partly because of their big, yearly events. The circuit is very new for me, so hopefully we have a good track walk to detect some special areas on the track. Other than that, I will study as much on-board footage as I can before traveling there."
What do you need to do to take your first win of 2014?
"The team is feeling very good right now and all the hard work is starting to pay off by getting the podium or even double-podium finishes. It is great to see and feel the consistency in the team. We have to keep doing what we are doing and focus on all possible details in order to get to the top step of the podium, but I have all the confidence that SRT Motorsports is not far away from that."
Jonathan Bomarito, driver, No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R
How would you describe racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
"Anytime you can race at Indy it's special; just being at the track adds to the spectacle. It's a fun track that is actually pretty technical. It's hard to find a good setup with regards to the car's handling. Indy is a new race for all the GTLM cars, so nobody knows yet if it suits their car."
Where is your confidence entering the Indy race weekend?
"I had a good result at Indy in the past with a pole position and a second-place finish. But watching first place get to kiss the bricks after finishing with such a close second definitely makes me hungrier for that top step of the podium. The SRT Motorsports program is on a roll right now with two consecutive double podiums in GTLM, a win in GTD and another win in the World Challenge. The team has been very busy working long hours with a very busy summer schedule, so having success hopefully makes the work just a little bit easier."
Kuno Wittmer, driver, No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R
How do you feel after consecutive double-podium finishes?
"We can say midseason that things appear to be turning our way. In drivers' points, we're second and third in the championship. We're not that far back from first. We just need to keep hustling and we would love to have a win. That's the primary goal, but I think consistency is more important and that's what we're mainly focused on. The team has been fantastic. My hat's off to the team and I'm thankful to be part of a team that works so hard day in and day out. They're just hard-working guys with a lot of passion and that's what important and it's what you need on a race team - you need passion and great leadership, which we have. I think if we keep this going, we can pull this off this year, but we're going to need a little bit of luck and keep up the hard work."
What are you thoughts on your first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
"The Indy circuit will be a first for me - I've never competed there - but I've been studying on-board video from previous events since it was put on the schedule for 2014. With the way things have been going, I'm not worried, we will be able to find our sweet spot pretty quick. It's one of those places that has so much history like Le Mans, Monaco or Daytona. It's the Brickyard, it's the big one. The Indy 500 is a race that a lot of young drivers aspire to compete in and, I'm not going to lie, it's on my bucket list. But for right not, we're at the Brickyard going clockwise instead of counter clockwise and we're on the road course, but you're still in the atmosphere of all that history and it would be very sweet get a podium in Indy."
SRT Motorsports Team Lineup for Indianapolis Motor Speedway
No. 91 TI Automotive 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: Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (race seven of 11 for GTLM)
Date: July 25, 2014
Time: 5:45 p.m. EDT for two hours and 45 minutes
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, 2.435 miles
TV Broadcast: FOX Sports 1 at 5:30 p.m. EDT