Automobile Magazine Names Dodge Viper GTS-R "Racing Car of the Year"
Dodge Viper Runs Undefeated In ALMS, Wins Le Mans and Walks Away With FIA GT Series Title
DETROIT, Jan. 12, 2000 - With its recent overall victory in the FIA GT Series, coupled with its undefeated season in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and repeated success in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Dodge Viper can validly lay claim to being the most successful American production-based sports car ever.
The editorial staff at Automobile Magazine agreed, recognizing the Dodge Viper GTS-R as its 2000 "Racing Car of the Year." According to Automobile Magazine, the award, first presented to the Jaguar XJR-14 in 1992, is a way of "recognizing and celebrating the Best of the Best among all racing cars and drivers each year."
Past winners include: (1993) Williams-Renault FW 14B, (1994) NASCAR Winston Cup Stock Car, (1995) Penske PC23 Mercedes-Benz, (1996) Team Green Reynard 951-Ford, (1997) Honda Indy V-8, (1998) Michael Schumacher, Formula 1 driver and (1999) McLaren MP4/13-Mercedes-Benz.
As for the Dodge Viper GTS-R, never before has an American production-based sports car enjoyed a season so Filled with accomplishment, especially overseas. Not only did the Viper become the first American sports car to capture the overall FIA GT title, it also won its Second straight 24 Hours of Le Mans title - a feat which no other production-based American sports car has ever been able to accomplish. For the two prior years, Viper had also won the FIA GT2 title. This makes Dodge Viper the first American production car to achieve such a superlative race record. The Viper competes as the Chrysler Viper in races outside North America.
"Dodge couldn't be prouder of these accomplishments," said Lou Patane, Vice President, Motorsports Operations and Mopar Performance Parts, DaimlerChrysler Corporation. "We are thoroughly excited to have developed the dominant production-based race car in what history will remember as a golden era of sports car racing. Through these victories we continue to build a unique heritage for the Dodge Viper, as one of the all time great race cars and arguably America's best ever."
From the onset, the objective for the Viper racing program was simple, according to Patane. "Our objective is to create a heritage for Viper," he explained. "We wanted a car that wins consistently. A car that is dominant in its environment. And a car that has the durability that our customers want to own."
For 1999, Dodge Viper Team ORECA knocked the ball out of the park in all three aspects of Patane's aforementioned goals for the program.