Viper withdraws from GTLM; Chrysler’s decision

6 Comments

New TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans class champions SRT Motorsports will not be back to defend their title in 2015.

The team has announced a withdrawal, effective immediately, from the series to instead focus on the Dodge brand.

A statement released Monday reads:

Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it is discontinuing the factory-backed SRT® (Street and Racing Technology) Motorsports racing program in IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) with the conclusion of the 2014 season. This decision affects participation in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with the Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R GTLM-class team. The Dodge brand will redirect its focus and efforts on the brand’s product lineup.

“Our company has made a business decision to discontinue the SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper GTS-R racing program,” said Ralph Gilles, Senior Vice President of Product Design, Chrysler Group LLC. “We are very proud of the amazing achievements our fantastic teams, drivers and partners have achieved on track the last few seasons. We thank them for their hard work, effort and commitment to SRT Motorsports. It’s been an honor to be a part of the inaugural IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season and we wish them every success in the future.”

IMSA has released a statement as well, via President and COO Scott Atherton:

“Since returning to a factory-backed sports car program midseason in 2012, the Chrysler Group was an ardent supporter of IMSA with a two-car team that competed most recently in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans category alongside a robust off-track marketing program. They have made a business decision to redirect focus to other areas of their core business.

“On behalf of IMSA, I’d like to congratulate the SRT Motorsports team and drivers – including 2014 GTLM champion Kuno Wittmer – and everybody involved with building a winning Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R program. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments together next Monday at our TUDOR Night of Champions in New York. Our door always will remain open should they wish to return to top-level sports car racing in the future.”