While the factory GTLM program may have come to an end, the Dodge Viper will still be represented in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship next year, albeit as a privateer effort in the GT Daytona class.
At least one Dodge Viper GT3-R is expected for the entire season, with Riley Motorsports coming off a productive test this week at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for January’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.
A total of three Viper GT3-Rs turned laps on the Florida high banks, including two ViperExchange.com-backed entries in GTD spec and a FIA GT3 Viper running in Pirelli World Challenge trim.
“To get back running again is always good,” Bill Riley told Sportscar365. “We had the car that was from Sebring back together again [after the fire]. As far as that goes mechanically, it was a good test.
“We ran a lot of miles. The weather didn’t cooperate as much as it should have but all in all it was a pretty good test.”
Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen, who are expected to return to the No. 33 Viper next year, were joined at the test by ex-factory drivers Marc Goossens and Kuno Wittmer, as well many of the mechanics and engineers from the now-defunct factory GTLM effort.
Riley said it remains to be seen whether a potential second car could be added into the mix, either for the entire season or Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds only.
“Obviously we haven’t made our full announcement yet but we’re working hard on getting everything sorted out for next year,” he said.
“On the drivers’ side, obviously the factory guys we had last year would be my first calls [to fill additional seats]. We’re pretty excited about moving forward with the GTD cars.”
Out of the four full-season factory drivers, only Jonathan Bomarito has announced plans for next year, having rejoined SpeedSource’s Mazda operation.
Riley expects a formal announcement on the team’s 2015 program to be made around mid-December.