It’s hard to believe the Viper has just celebrated more than 20 years of being an American performance icon. I may not have the legacy and tradition behind it that the Corvette and Mustang do, but in terms of sheer American big-inch attitude and swagger, the Viper is second to none. It’s also been a competitive machine on the track as well, willing the 1997 FIA GT2 class championship. The GTS coupe and ACR variants cemented the Viper’s high-performance credentials among enthusiasts. Well, the next chapter in the Viper’s racing history is about to begin with the introduction of the new Viper GTS-R.
The new 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R underwent a shakedown run over the weekend at Carolina Motorsports Park in preparation for competition later in the American Le Mans Series GT series. Although the video is barely a minute long, you get a mix of in-car footage and track footage, and of course, the unique growl of the Viper’s 8.4-liter V-10.
Gary Johnson, SRT Motorsports’ road racing manager, shared some of the flavor of the in-the-trenches development process for the car, saying things went more smoothly than anticipated in the car’s initial shakedown run. “If you would have seen that car three days earlier, there’s no way you’d have believed that thing was going to roll off a trailer in three days to drive around the track.” Thanks to help from Riley technologies, a number of changes were made quickly, including to the control relationships between the steering wheel, pedals and driver’s seat.
The snake is back, and we can’t wait to see it in action again on the track.