What some folks did to this SRT Viper at the Chicago Auto Show is just wrong

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The legendary Viper marque returned to the Rolex 24 at Daytona this year for the first time in more than a dozen years, and the new SRT Motorsports Riley-built SRT Viper GTS-R (pictured right, passing a PC class car during the night) brought home a solid third place finish in the GT Le Mans class.

It was a good spot for Viper to actually be disappointed with third place, as the polesitting No. 91 car driven by Dominik Farnbacher, Marc Goossens and Ryan Hunter-Reay was a class-winning contender before various issues including a power steering line failure cost it 10 laps.

When the Viper finished the Rolex 24, it featured glorious battle scars from racing. The dirt, grime and unkempt look of a car after 24 hours of pure, hard racing is something to treasure. And it looked like this, as I walked through the garage at the end of the race.

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Photo: Tony DiZinno

But to some people, art and the fact this is an actual race car, means nothing. What has happened this week at the Chicago Auto Show is nothing short of a disgrace, and makes you sick to see.

Here’s what has happened to the car at various points this week, via sports car and former Formula Atlantic driver Ryan Lewis, who was at the auto show.

Alonso would be ‘very happy’ to finish F1 career with McLaren

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Fernando Alonso says he would be “very happy” to see out his Formula 1 career with McLaren after signing a new multi-year contract with the British team, announced on Thursday.

Alonso, 36, ended speculation about his future by agreeing a new deal with McLaren, hopeful of returning to the front of the field next year when the team swaps Honda power for Renault engines.

Alonso admitted to considering options outside of F1 before agreeing to stay at McLaren, and was thought to only be chasing a one-year extension in order to be in a position to snap up a more attractive seat in the volatile 2019 market.

However, Alonso confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the deal with McLaren stretched beyond the end of next year, adding he would be content to see out his time in the sport with the team.

“I never talk about contracts, but one thing I can say is it is a long-term partnership,” Alonso said.

“I am very happy to finish my career at McLaren. So I don’t think it is going to be only one year.”

Alonso also revealed he had options with teams high up the field in F1 for 2018 just a couple of months ago, but was always leaning to staying at McLaren despite not scoring a podium with the team in almost three years.

“There were some other options in F1. In the summer there were still some options at the top teams, but my desire was to stay with McLaren,” Alonso said.

“But at that time they were in conversation with different engine suppliers, so I had to give them time to sort out their situation.

“Then McLaren opted for a Renault engine which delayed my decision, because I had to understand what Renault’s plans were for next years.

“But when I had everything on the table, everything was pretty clear.”