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WeatherTech Championship

Viper Breaks Through at Indianapolis

Wittmer/Bomarito score IMS GTLM win in Dodge Viper…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

SRT Motorsports turned a series of near misses into its long awaited first victory of the season in GT Le Mans at the Brickyard Grand Prix, with the No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R of Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer scoring their first win as co-drivers.

Bomarito took the No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R to a 10.789-second win over the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia of Pierre Kaffer, in a race that saw no fewer than four different manufacturers exchange the lead in the hotly contested category.

Pole-sitter Giancarlo Fisichella led early but relinquished the top spot after two off-course excursions for the Prancing Horse, which saw the No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE of Andy Priaulx briefly take command.

However, it was the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy that appeared to be in control of the race, leading through the second hour until an engine-related issue for the Porsche North America entry with just over 60 minutes left on the clock.

It opened the door for Bomarito, who along with Wittmer, to give the Detroit automaker only its second win in IMSA competition since its return to sports car racing in 2012.

Kaffer and Fisichella scored a season-best second place finish, despite the German struggling to reach the pedals in his final stint after a miscue during the driver change.

Despite its sister Porsche retiring, the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Patrick Long and Michael Christensen completed the GTLM podium in third, ahead of both Corvette C7.Rs, which ended its four-race winning streak with rather uneventful runs.

Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, however, maintain their championship lead with a fourth place finish, while co-drivers Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner completed the top-five in their No. 4 entry.

Ferrari claimed GT Daytona class honors, with Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal co-driving the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 to victory, marking the Italian manufacturer’s second straight Indianapolis win.

Balzan finished one lap ahead of the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS of Christpher Hasse, who along with Bryce Miller came home in second.

The No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R of Jeroen Bleekemolen and Ben Keating completed the podium in third.

The duo, who claimed class honors at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, benefited from late-race brake issues for the No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America, which faded to fifth in the hands of Leh Keen.

A fourth place finish for the No. 555 AIM Autosport Ferrari sees Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler continue to lead the way in the championship heading into next month’s round at Road America.

RESULTS: Brickyard Grand Prix

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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