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SRT Vipers Withdraw from Le Mans

SRT withdraws two-car factory GTE-Pro entry from 24 Hours of Le Mans…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

SRT Motorsports will not take part in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Sportscar365 has confirmed that the Detroit automaker has pulled its two-car factory GTE-Pro effort, ahead of next month’s deadline for the final entry deposits.

“We regretfully and respectfully decline to participate in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, in a statement.

“We are honored to once again be invited by the ACO to compete in this historic event, and they were the first to be informed of our decision. We will remain focused on our North American racing program in 2014.”

The Viper made its return to the twice-around-the-clock French endurance classic last year, as the first year of a planned multi-year program.

However, lower-than-expected sales of the V10-powered sports car recently forced the temporary closure of its production plant in Detroit, likely prompting a tightened budget on its motorsports programs.

The pair of Riley Technologies-built Viper GTS-Rs were due to be driven by Dominik Farnbacher, Marc Goossens, Rob Bell (No. 93) and Jonathan Bomarito, Kuno Wittmer and Jeroen Bleekemolen (No. 94).

As a result, the first two GTE reserve entries, the No. 66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari F458 Italia and Team Taisan’s Ferrari, will soon be confirmed for the race.

SRT’s withdrawal leaves Corvette Racing and Dempsey Racing-Proton, plus the FIA WEC season-long 8Star Motorsports squad, as the only American efforts in this year’s race.

As Gilles stated, their focus will remain on the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, with both cars having been entered for next month’s round at Long Beach.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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