Jeroen Bleekemolen will make the switch from racing Porsches to the new SRT Viper GT3-R in North America, as the Dutchman was confirmed Tuesday as the lead pilot for SRT’s first customer GT Daytona program.
Bleekemolen will join car owner Ben Keating behind the wheel of the No. 33 ViperExchange.com and Client Command-sponsored entry, which will be managed and run by Riley Technologies in next year’s Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
“I think the Viper is going to be one of the best cars in the GT Daytona class,” said Bleekemolen, who currently drives for Alex Job Racing in the ALMS GTC class. “That’s one of the main reasons I’m pleased to join this team. The team is very strong and the Viper is one of the best cars out there. I raced the Oreca Viper back in 2001 for the GT1 championship, so I have some experience with the Viper.”
Keating was previously announced as the first customer for the GT3-based car, which was unveiled at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car will be eligible for GT3 competition worldwide, as well as USCC and the Pirelli World Challenge, among other series in North America.
The car is expected to begin on-track testing next month, ahead of official USCC pre-season testing at Sebring and Daytona in November.
“The Viper GT3-R is a good progression from a customer-based Viper,” said Bill Riley. “The parts are now available worldwide. We’re talking to a lot of different customers here in the U.S. and worldwide about 2014.
“I’m excited about having Ben in our camp. Being involved in sports car racing is what we do. I think we can have a very, very strong run next year in the GT Daytona Class.”