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SRT Keys to Success: COTA

SRT’s keys to success for COTA TUSC weekend…

Photo: SRT

Photo: SRT

SRT Motorsports returns to Circuit of The Americas with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s title battle continuing in the series’ penultimate race, the Lone Star Le Mans on Saturday, Sept. 20.

With a six-point margin separating the point leader from the No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R in the GTLM class standings, the TUDOR Championship event in Texas could play a determining role in the 2014 title race.

The SRT Motorsports Vipers enter the COTA race having tallied six podium finishes in the previous five events – including a victory by Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer in the No. 93 Viper in Indianapolis – and have finished ahead of the class points leader in three-consecutive races. With that success, the No. 93 Viper has surged to second in the point standings, while the No. 91 Viper of Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens now ranks tied for third.

One year ago at COTA, the No. 93 Viper claimed a runner-up result in Texas, marking the team’s best finish at the time. After the No. 93 crew worked to dial in the Viper during the race’s first half, Bomarito jettisoned through the field in the race’s closing half to finish second and the No. 91 Viper finished fifth.

With the track’s young surface and array of quick corners, tire deterioration is a factor at COTA, which is also impacted by the hot track temperatures in Texas.

The Lone Star Le Mans, the 10th event for the GTLM class in the 2014 IMSA schedule, will take place at 11:35 a.m. CDT at Texas’ Circuit of The Americas on Saturday, Sept. 20.

The IMSA TUDOR Championship race can be seen in live coverage on FOX Sports 2 at 12:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday. A two-hour rebroadcast of the race airs on FOX on Sunday, Sept. 21, at various time slots throughout the country. Viewers can check local listings for air times.

Track: Circuit of The Americas, 3.427-mile circuit, 20 turns (race 10 of 11 for the IMSA TUDOR GTLM class)

Race: Lone Star Le Mans at Texas’ Circuit of The Americas on Saturday, Sept. 20

Russ Ruedisueli, head of SRT and motorsports engineering

What is the team’s mindset entering COTA?

“The team is very positive. We are second and third in the drivers’ championship and third in the manufacturer’s championship with two races to go. We all know we have a really solid chance of finishing the season well.”

How does the championship battle impact the team’s strategy for this event?

“It won’t change the team’s strategy. We have been focused all along on the championship and we will continue to work that plan.”

How can teamwork between the Vipers impact the championship battle?

“There are no team orders or, ‘One car getting better equipment then the other,’ on this team. Where it can help is in the pits. For instance, we might stager pit stops between our two cars if one car needs a very fast stop and the extra pit space could help that. Otherwise, it’s the ability to share information for setup, track conditions, how each car performs at the start and end of a fuel run and that can help us finish in a stronger position at the end of the race.”

Is traffic an issue at COTA and why? 

“COTA is unique because it is very wide and it has lots of runoff that won’t hurt or strand the car. Because of that, I think a lot of the drivers use more of the track and get more aggressive. Being able to stay clean will be important to winning at COTA.”

Do you expect to unload fast given the team’s success at COTA last year?
“Unloading with a fast car always makes the weekend easier, because it allows the team to work on fine tuning and extracting that last bit of speed out of the cars. We have good data from last year’s race we should be in good shape this weekend.”
What are the most important factors in performing well at COTA? 
“Unloading with a strong setup, staying clean in traffic and performing flawless pit stops.”

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