Consecutive poles for the No. 93 SRT
Viper GTS-R driver showcased the speed
of man and car against the cream of GT.
You’re not worried about saving tires,
fuel or yourself in qualifying with the SRT
Viper GTS-R. All you think about is getting
every ounce of speed from the car, and
what we learned about going for pole this
past season really came down to knowing
the tires, knowing the tire pressures and
how quickly they’d come up to what you
needed to feel rock solid on a flying lap.
Then, understanding when and
where to push became the next step in
our learning process for qualifying.
Timing is so important, just knowing
when to throw down that fastest lap.
Depending on the track and the traffic,
it could be the second lap, or it could be
the sixth or seventh; maybe you have
to cruise around and try and find a gap.
Everyone tries their hardest in
qualifying, so that isn’t unique to driving
a Viper, but getting the tires in the right
performance window and the space you
need to execute that perfect lap is
something we try to do better than the
rest. I’m listening to our engineers over
the radio as they tell me about the tire
pressures and gaps they see, and then
we go for it when the two come together.
What’s pretty crazy about qualifying in
this class is you’re flat out, but you’re out
there with nothing but pros who are all
trying to do the same thing and achieve
the same goal. It’s beyond competitive, so
I’ll use a little bit more curb in places and
push the tires a touch harder, because
I know the others are doing the same.
Winning a pole really means something
against the teams we’re competing with.
ThE ART Of TAKING pOlE
JONATHAN BOMARITO ON...
Indeed, the best part of the 2013
season was about to begin – starting with
pole at Mosport for Jonathan Bomarito in
the No. 93 and a 2-3 finish, led by the 91.
Then it was on to Road America, where
another Bomarito pole set the tone for a
great weekend – one that that got even
better when Marc Goossens took the
No. 91 Viper past Antonio Garcia’s
Corvette and into the lead with 33
minutes remaining on the clock. Any
concerns that the Viper would need to
make a late-race fuel splash ‘n’ dash
vanished with a late-race caution, leaving
a delighted team to celebrate its maiden
victory one year on from its ALMS debut.
“We knew we were capable of doing well
in those couple races, and getting the pole
at Mosport and seeing our drivers second
and third on the podium was a real rush,”
recalls Johnson. “Then to follow that up
with another pole and our first win, the
team made another leap. The journey to and
from Le Mans, with Lime Rock right after,
took a toll on everyone, but these two races
ended up drawing a line in the sand for us.
“The guys felt different after Mosport and
it carried on from there. Knowing we could
win against such great competitors made
us anxious and excited to do well again.”
(TOP) Back on home
soil... Unloading at
Lime Rock, the first
ALMS race after
returning from the
24 Hours of Le Mans
in France. (ABOVE)
The Vipers work the
traffic at Mosport.
cars is an essential
skill in multi-class
sports car racing.
“Knowing we could win
against great competitors
made us anxious and
excited to do well again”