1999 American Le Mans Series
Dodge Viper Team ORECA Captures 1-2 At Las Vegas Grand Prix. Victory Gives Dodge Overall Drivers & Team Titles In American Le Mans Series.
LAS VEGAS (Nov. 7,1999) - By racing to second place in the American Le Mans (ALMS) finals on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Dodge Viper Team ORECA driver Olivier Beretta captured the overall drivers' championship in the inaugural year of North America's premier sports car racing circuit. Beretta and co-driver David Donohue were joined on the podium by Vegas race winners and teammates Karl Wendlinger and Tommy Archer. Rounding out the podium, in third place, was the Chevrolet Corvette team of Ron Fellows and Chris Kneifel.
In addition to Beretta's drivers championship, Wendlinger and Archer's efforts helped Dodge Viper Team ORECA win the overall team championship. And, with his win, Wendlinger (137 points) past Red Porsche's Martin Snow (129) for second place overall behind teammate Beretta (151).
Olivier Beretta, #91 Dodge Viper GTS-R Second Place, GTS class, 1st Overall ALMS Series:
"I would like to thank David (Donohue) because he helped me share this championship. We started the season with a target of trying to win this championship and we've won- It was not so easy because we missed the first two races, but we were able to overcome the difficulties. Team ORECA did its homework and showed the experience of this team and how well we can work with Dodge,"
Karl Wendlinger, #92 Dodge Viper GTS-R First Place Las Vegas ALMS GTS Class, 2nd Overall ALMS Series:
"All year long we had the best car in the field, so it is always easier as a driver when you are sitting on the grid knowing that you are sitting in the best car."
David Donohue, #91 Dodge Viper GTS-R Second Place Las Vegas ALMS GTS class:
"We started the season so late that it was an aggressive goal of ours to win the title. We weren't a shoe-in to win this- But at the same time Olivier and I weren't thinking of tossing the car off just for the sake of staying ahead of the Corvette."
On the Chevrolet Corvette's performance. "The Corvette is a formidable opponent and that is why we're here. The Corvette lights a fire under us.'
Tommy Archer, #92 Dodge Viper GTS-R First Place Las Vegas ALMS GTS Class:
"Lou (Patane, Vice President of Dodge Motorsports) and Hugues de Chaunac, (President of Team ORECA) have put together a team that's almost indestructible."
Louis P. Patane, Vice President, Motorsports Operations and Mopar Performance Parts, DaimlerChrysler Corporation:
"Dodge Motorsports couldn't be prouder of this accomplishment of not only all of the small car platform, engineers, designers and craftspeople, but also our development partner on the GT Viper - Team ORECA and its entire staff. Having won the ALMS, in conjunction with our provisional FIA GT title, and a 1-2 finish at Le Mans for the second year in a row, we continue to build a heritage of what we believe is the greatest production-based sports car ever in the world."
Hugues de Chaunac, President, Team ORECA:
"To achieve such results during the year in the world of ALMS and FIA GT is incredible. And to accomplish such results you need to have the best group, ie., integration between Dodge engineers and Team ORECA and the drivers. The Dodge engineers made us a great car. So we are proud to achieve this overall championship win for Dodge."