July 13, 2000 - Dodge Viper Team ORECA returns to America for the fifth round of the American Le Mans Series at Sears Point, Calif., next weekend (July 23). Karl Wendlinger and Olivier Beretta will again share one Viper GTS R/T, while Americans...
July 13, 2000 - Dodge Viper Team ORECA returns to America for the fifth round of the American Le Mans Series at Sears Point, Calif., next weekend (July 23). Karl Wendlinger and Olivier Beretta will again share one Viper GTS R/T, while Americans David Donohue and Tommy Archer will share the second.
The team is returning to America after three races in three months in Europe. Dodge Viper Team ORECA won its GTS class at both European rounds of the ALMS series, at Silverstone in May and the Nürburgring earlier this month, and recorded their third consecutive 1-2 in class at the 24 hours of Le Mans.
Wendlinger and Beretta were winning drivers in all three events. Between them, they have won their class at every American Le Mans Series round since they entered the championship at Mosport, Canada, last year. They now comfortably lead the championship for drivers with Donohue and Archer tied for third position.
The ORECA-prepared Vipers have won 22 of the last 24 races in which they have competed in the last two seasons - 9 FIA GT Championship races, 10 ALMS wins including their class victory at the Nürburgring, two Le Mans 24 hour titles and outright victory at Daytona.
"Our main challenge this weekend is to record another high overall finishing position for the GTS-class Dodge Viper," said Pierre Dieudonné, Sporting Director the Dodge factory-backed Viper Team ORECA. "We won outright at Daytona, were seventh overall at Le Mans and eighth at the Nürburgring. Sears Point is a shorter race, so there is less emphasis on the Viper's reliability and it will be more difficult to move ahead of some of the LMP cars, but we will be trying."
Wendlinger is looking forward to driving the Sears Point circuit. "There are a lot of challenging corners, and I like the undulating nature of the circuit," said the Austrian. "Sears Point is a beautiful area. San Francisco reminds me of a European city, which is probably why I like it so much. As for the race itself, whatever the competition, you want to perform well as a driver. I hope that the race will be exciting."