Brute-iful! Mopar Sportsman racer David
Barton won the Factory Stock showdown at
the NHRA Carolina Nationals with an 8sec
run in his 2010 Dodge Challenger with
the brand new Gen. III 426 cu.in. Hemi.
PRIVATEER SNAKE RACER IS GO
GT3-R set for Rolex 24 debut as SRT Vipers go multi-class in TUDOR Championship
SRT Vipers will launch a multi-fanged
strike on the 2014 TUDOR United
SportsCar Championship. The GT Le Mans
class factory GTS-Rs will be joined in the
GT Daytona ranks by a GT3-R, a “Snake”
newly conceived for privateer teams.
Two-time Viper Cup champ Ben Keating
is the first privateer to purchase one of
the Riley Technologies-built GT3-Rs. He’ll
be joined for its race debut at the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, Jan. 25-26,
by Jeroen and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen
and ’05 overall winner Emmanuel Collard.
Post-Rolex 24, Jeroen Bleekemolen will
Years of Viper experience make
Ben Keating a very proficient
owner/driver in the new GT3-R.
race the full schedule alongside Keating.
“I feel really good about the program,”
says Keating, who is principal of top Viper
dealer ViperExchange.com. “We weren’t the
quickest in testing at Sebring and Daytona
in November, but it’s a brand-new car – it’s
chassis No. 1 of a brand-new car – and to
go four days with no problems at all was
really impressive. The car ran flawlessly.”
Keating has raced and won in IMSA
and American Le Mans Series competition
in Porsche GT3 Cup cars in recent seasons,
but the TUDOR Championship’s GTD class
gave him a perfect chance to return to
his racing roots in top-tier style.
“I am excited to be back in something
I sell, something I’m used to,” says Keating.
“All my championships have been won in a
Viper. This car is something special; it really
feels good and it’s reliable and consistent.”
Announced in June 2013, the GT3-R is
built to GT3 class rules, which strictly limit
performance modifications and driver aids,
making it an ideal platform for pro-am
racers. The car is eligible for numerous
GT3-based championships, including Pirelli
World Challenge and the FIA GT3 Series,
as well as TUDOR Championship GTD.
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
deeply impressed the RACER staff in our
3,500 miles with it. It also won over racer
Tommy Kendall (who daily-drives one,
incidentally) – as you’ll see when you read
his take on it, starting on page 100.
But last fall, the 6.4-liter, Hemi-powered
beast also landed Esquire magazine’s
“SUV of the Year” award. Editor-in-chief
David Granger said: “The one sonic
experience of the year I will not forget
is engaging the ignition on the Grand C h r
Cherokee SRT. This is the sweetest-
sounding, most reasonably priced
engine note of our time.”
Ralph Gilles, President and CEO,
SRT Brand and Motorsports, commented:
“Winning Esquire’s ‘SUV of the Year’
award continues to help set us apart from
esteemed competitors by appealing to
the passionate, performance-enthusiast
consumers with the 2014 Jeep Grand
Cherokee SRT’s unique blend of value,
technology, power and character.”
GRAND CHEROKEE SRT EARNS ESQUIRE PLAuDITS
An SUV with 470hp and 465lb.ft torque wins
over many people. This should surprise no one…
half-hearted about a
Riley Technologies-built SRT Viper. The
uses many elements
from the GTS-R.
“In terms of a mix
of the GT Le Mans
car and what
we’ve done for
GTD specifically, it’s
pretty much right
down the middle,”
says Bill Riley.
For a closer look,
check out page 72.