Viper Team ORECA suffers in Texas heat

Dallas Fort Worth, Texas, September 2, 2000 - Dodge Viper Team ORECA recorded a second and a third place finish in the seventh round of the American Le Mans Series to maintain their 100 per cent finishing record in the series. Karl Wendlinger and...

Dallas Fort Worth, Texas, September 2, 2000 - Dodge Viper Team ORECA recorded a second and a third place finish in the seventh round of the American Le Mans Series to maintain their 100 per cent finishing record in the series. Karl Wendlinger and Olivier Beretta finished second despite losing third gear and despite Wendlinger nearly collapsing after his first driving stint due to extreme heat in the cockpit. Tommy Archer and David Donohue finished third after a fuel problem.

Wendlinger had to be tended by a doctor after his first stint behind the wheel and Beretta was forced to drive for half as long again before Wendlinger was fit enough to climb back into the car to finish the race.

"You get very hot waiting for the start of the race, and the cool suit was not working," said Wendlinger. "My body temperature went up to 40 degrees and I was not allowed back into the car until near the end. I completed the race and I felt fine. The outside temperature dropped a little and even a few degrees makes a difference."

The second Dodge Viper GTS R/T stopped on the circuit after 83 laps with a fuel problem with Archer at the wheel. "We think that we ran out of fuel, but we don't know why," said Archer. "I made a mistake during the race when I straight-lined the chicane and I got a drive-through penalty, but it did not really matter at the end of the race."

ORECA Team Director Hugues de Chaunac commented: "I am more disappointed by the fact that we were beaten by problems beyond our control. We know that you cannot win all your life, that is the nature of racing. Our main problem was that the cooling suits were not working and that made the drivers too exhausted. We have to think immediately about the next race because we know that without these problems we can fight back as usual."

The next round of the championship is at Portland, Oregon, on September 10.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Karl Wendlinger , Tommy Archer , Olivier Beretta , Hugues de Chaunac