The SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GTS-Rs will share row two on the starting grid for the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) after qualifying third and fourth, respectively, on the 2.439-mile road course on Thursday.
Jonathan Bomarito qualified third in the No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R with a top lap time of 1:22.491 (106.441 mph) after he overcame running off track in turn 12 early in the session. Marc Goossens will start alongside his teammate in the No. 91 TI Automotive Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R after qualifying fourth with a time of 1:22.503 (106.425 mph).
Bomarito clocked in a scant .113 of a second off the pole-winning lap time, while Goossens was only .125 of a second behind the fast qualifier.
Friday's Brickyard Grand Prix will be the first race for Dodge Viper SRT GTS-Rs at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The two-car team comes to the famed Indianapolis facility with the momentum of its best-ever, two-race span that produced results of second and third in each of the last two IMSA TUDOR Championship events.
One race ago at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Mosport), the No. 93 team started from the pole and finished second with drivers Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer, while the No. 91 finished third. In the race prior, the No. 91 Viper and drivers Goossens and Dominik Farnbacher finished as the runner-up and the No. 93 Viper claimed third in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.
The race also marks the competition debut of new team partner TI Automotive, the primary sponsor for the No. 91 TI Automotive Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R that is adorned in the company's white with green-and-blue branding this weekend.
The Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the seventh event for the GTLM class in the 2014 IMSA schedule, will be broadcast live from Indianapolis on Friday, July 25 at 5:30 p.m. EDT on FOX Sports 1.
Jonathan Bomarito, driver, No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R
What did you think of your qualifying run? "It was good. We have a good race car for tomorrow's race. The guys have been doing a really good job. We made progress every session. We've ever been here before with this car - a lot like the other teams - and it's all about momentum and progress. Each time we're out, the handling gets better and better. We need to keep working overnight and come back stronger tomorrow. As a team, it's a good starting result. We're on the same row starting third and fourth with the Vipers. It's going to be a tough race with traffic and everything, but we have a good shot to win."
Kuno Wittmer, driver, No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R How was your teammate's qualifying session? "The momentum just keeps going. There's been a lot of hard work since the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park race until now and I think it's paying off. The team is just always on point lately and that's how we need to be. This late in the season, we just can't lose focus and this team isn't going to do that. I think for tomorrow, I feel pretty confident. It looks like I will be starting the race and the Viper is really nice to drive. A lot of stuff can happen over two hours and 45 minutes, but we need to have a good result."
How do you think tomorrow's race will play out? "It's going to be a drafting war more than anything else. It's going to be tough to initiate a pass and make that pass stick. I think it's going to be tough here. You would think otherwise with the long straightaway and all that, but it's actually really, really tough to pass here. That's why we wanted to have a good qualifying session, get up front, run clean, have good pit stops and bring our car back with zero scratches on it, which should put us on the podium."
Marc Goossens, driver, No. 91 TI Automotive Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R What did you think of the qualifying session on this circuit? "It was good. Unfortunately, I didn't have any lap times on board, so I couldn't see where we were lap time-wise, so it was hard to judge. I drove it as hard as I could and we we're P2 for a long time, but we missed a little bit on the braking. It was a little too easy for us to lock up the front wheels on the braking, which is costing us a little bit of time. But not only that, as the tires aged, it became tougher for me to keep the car on the road because of the braking issue. There's still some work to do prior to the race because the last thing you want is to not have the right race-craft as a result of not having the right braking performance. But you know what, both Viper GTS-Rs are starting on the second row, so it's not a bad result. It's just a shame we dropped from second to fourth towards the end in our TI Automotive Viper. We're looking for a podium again tomorrow and hopefully we can move up a couple of spots."
Dominik Farnbacher, driver, No. 91 TI Automotive Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R How was your teammate's qualifying session? "First of all, I want to say thanks to our team and the mechanics for their hard work - they worked their butts off today. They worked all day. The team got up early and worked straight through the day. I think they had their lunch while they were working in the paddock between sessions, so they never had a chance to rest all day. We finished third and fourth in qualifying and put both of our cars on the second row for the race - that's a good starting position - but we still have to remember we have the PC cars in front of us for the beginning, so that will create some trouble. The TI Automotive Viper did very well. Marc had a problem with the brakes locking up, so we have to analyze why we have that. That was really the only problem we had. He said the car was pretty good otherwise. Bill (Riley, lead engineer) and Tyler (Hook, track engineer for the No. 91 Viper) did a good job setting up the car. Straight out of the box, it felt very good to drive. Other than that, we're happy to drive in the new TI Automotive colors. It looks good and I can't wait for tomorrow. It's important to have a new sponsor. It brings a lot more atmosphere to the team. I've talked to the TI Automotive guys and they took pictures with us and put them on the stand with us and showed them everything. It's very exciting and they were all smiling."
Russ Ruedisueli, head of SRT and motorsports engineering What did you think of the Vipers' qualifying session? "It was a good session, right? We're on the second row - we've got the row locked down - and the Vipers were really good. The drivers seem happy with the cars. We're going to make a few tweaks this evening and get ready to take the field on tomorrow." Is it an advantage to have the cars qualify near each other? "It can be. Drafting is important at Indy and it can be important that we qualified together if we can use that to our advantage. Having the Vipers close together at the start will be helpful. However, you know, we say it's a short race because it's just short of three hours, but there's a lot of time out there for things to happen."
Matt Bejnarowicz, lead engineer, No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R What did you think about the qualifying performance? "I actually think we ended up a little bit better than I expected us to. I think JB (Jonathan Bomarito) really pulled it out and Jim (Kasprzak, track engineer for the No. 93 Viper) made a lot of changes on the car going into qualifying and I think it all worked. We're starting on the second row, which is a pretty good place to start a race and we're right along our sister car. It's time to work on race craft now." Is it important for the cars to qualify together for drafting? "Whether it's a drafting situation or just having a partner you can trust, that's always an advantage. We can't dismiss that and our team always works as one team, so I expect the Vipers to work together and do what it takes to move to the front." Bill Riley, lead engineer, No. 91 TI Automotive Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R How was today's qualifying session for the team? "It was pretty good. It was our first time here and I'm pretty happy with how we qualified. I have a lot of history being at Indianapolis, so it feels good to qualify towards the front. It's just so tight in GTLM right now that the 91 car is a tenth of a second off and we're sitting back here in fourth place. It was a pretty good day by the 33 Viper to qualify second in GTD - that was a strong run by Jeroen (Bleekemolen, driver of the No. 33 ViperExchange.com Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R). He's just an awesome qualifier. The 93 qualified third and that's great too. We're in a great position for tomorrow."
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 Race Information Name: Brickyard Grand Prix (race seven of 11 for TUDOR Championship GTLM) Date: July 25, 2014 Time: 5:45 p.m. EDT for 2 hours and 45 minutes Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2.439-miles Broadcast Information: FOX Sports 1 live at 5:30 p.m. EDT