Nancy Knapp Schilke, ALMS Correspondent
One of the former American Le Mans Series GT manufacturer champions is ready to return to the series this weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Road Racing Manager, SRT Motorsports Gary Johnson has been very busy before and since SRT Motorsports made the announcement at the New York Auto Show in April of this year.
The team and their two drivers are ready to take on the hotly-contested LM GTE class this weekend. SRT Motorsports, along with partner with Riley Technologies, is ready to take off flying with Tommy Kendall and Jonathan Bomarito as the pilots of the Viper GTS-R.
A lot of excitement just to be back at a historic track like Mid-Ohio.
In today's press conference, both Johnson and Kendall shared their thoughts.
“It’s a tremendous amount of excitement. It’s a big comeback. We’ve both been away for similar periods of time, both Viper and myself, myself a little bit longer,” said Kendall, who quit racing full-time in 1997.
The racer turned commentator added, “A lot of excitement just to be back at a historic track like Mid-Ohio but under no illusions about what I’ve gotten myself into. We’ve chosen a pretty stout, stacked pond, if you will, to jump into. When I stopped driving in 1997, I made a promise to myself that I would only do things that I liked and enjoyed with people I liked.”
The excitement that Kendall described is the same for the test of the organization as they showcase their newest racing car. “We are all very excited about the new SRT Viper GTS-R getting on track. We’ve got a great driver lineup, a terrific constructor and terrific tires. Overall, we’re expecting a good showing here,” said Johnson.
For now, SRT Motorsports is mum about their next race as Johnson explained: “We are going to be reviewing how the weekend went here and, based on that, will have an opportunity to make an announcement on future racing this year.”
Kendall and Bomarito bring experience as contenders in endurance events, and while this is not a 12 or 24 hour race, the two have prepared for their new adventure. “We’ve done some testing but there are many questions in our mind about where we stack up. We’re anxious to get out there. There’s no real good way to know exactly where you stand until you get out there. You know we want to get as many miles as we can and see where we stack up,” Kendall said.