AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – With the 52nd running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona only four months away, Riley Technologies and veteran racer Ben Keating remain on schedule to debut the Viper GT3-R when the United SportsCar Racing (USCR) season opens in January.
Built as the first mass-produced, GT3-based car designed and manufactured in the United States, the Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) Motorsports V-10 thoroughbred emerges from the factory eligible for a wide variety of competition arenas in addition to USCR, including the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), North American Road Racing Association (NARRA), Pirelli World Challenge GT Class and International GT3 Championships.
Keating was first in line to purchase a SRT Viper GT3-R from Riley Technologies earlier this year. He plans to compete full-time in the USCR’s GT Daytona Class in 2014.
The team will be managed by Keating and Bill Riley, vice-president of Riley Technologies. The car will be maintained by Riley Technologies in Mooresville, N.C.
Jeroen Bleekemolen has been named primary co-driver for the team. The car will carry No. 33 with primary sponsorship from ViperExchange.com and Client Command.
A native of Houston, Keating won the SRT Viper Cup championships in 2011 and 2012 piloting a Viper ACR-X and wanted to move up to the next biggest stage. The newly formed GT Daytona Class (which mixes professional and amateur drivers) was a perfect fit.
“Racing is in our name – Street and Racing Technology – so the line is very blurred between what we do on the road and what we do on the track,” said Beth Paretta, director of Marketing and Operations, SRT Brand and Motorsports. “Racing is a big part of everything that SRT does. It epitomizes the best of what our SRT performance brand represents and showcases the Viper’s natural affinity for performance. There’s no doubt the Viper GT3-R will be exciting to watch in 2014.”
Viper’s road racing heritage is synonymous with championship-caliber lineage. The last Viper GT3 car debuted in 2005 and went on to win two GT3 championships and a World Challenge GT title. That car was based on the GTS-R program dating back to 1996.