The news that Chrysler were going to bring their Dodge Viper GT Program to an end was sad for motorsport fans around the world. It has now been learned that it may not be the end for the Viper name. Bill Riley has made clear that he wants to bring the Viper name back to Le Mans as a private team. The question now is, is there really a chance to see the American vehicle back at la Sarthe.
Despite the fact that Chrysler terminated Viper’s motorsport program in October last year due to declining sales and a tight budget. We could still see the Dodge Viper GTS-R fighting for a class win at Le Mans in June this year. Bill Riley, the former head of the Viper factory team is hoping to once again line up a Viper again at Le Mans. Apparently there are opportunities for the American team to run in both GTE categories.
According to Racer, Riley has kept a lot of the former works squad together and is now looking for money to finance the Le Mans Project. With time running out until the Le Mans application deadline, Bill Riley doesn’t have long to put the finishing touches on his plan but is committed to giving it his best shot. In an interview with Race, Bill said, “It’s completely private; Chrysler’s not involved, which means we have to find the right drivers – some guys that can help make it happen, and some sponsors who are interested in being part of the biggest endurance race there is,”
He went on to say “There’s nothing more I’d like to see us than us back at Le Mans, the Riley name on the entry list, and going hard with our Vipers which have been completely transformed since our first time there. It’s a pretty exciting program to put together, but we’re also getting close to the entry deadline. I’m hoping we can get everything together in time to make it happen.”
It will be interesting to see if Riley manages to bring the Dodge Viper back to Le Mans. In terms of drivers, former works drivers like Kuno Wittmer, Dominik Farenbacher and Marc Goossens have not yet got drives for the 2015 season.
Source – Racer
Photo – Walter Schruff