-- Chrysler announced in London today that it has officially withdrawn its support of Team Oreca and its effort to win the Le Mans 24 hour race. The team fielded a LMP900 prototype for the last two years, fourth overall was the best finish.

The previous four years, the Chrysler Viper had dominated international GT racing series.

Team Oreca will campaign the 2002 season with Judd engines. The team has yet to test the new V10 5.0-liter engine. They will continue to use Dallara chassis. They will bench test the engine before making a decision to race it at Le Mans next June.

Hugues de Chauanc indicated the team would participate in selected rounds of the FIA SC series to prepare for the Le Mans assault. Playstation France is backing the effort with sponsor dollars.

The Chrysler Viper program was one of the most successful in sports car history. They won five international championships, and finished one-two three years in a row at Le Mans. They also claimed an outright victory at the Rolex 24 of Daytona.

Privateer teams will continue to carry the Viper banner, but without the factory support.