SNAKIN’ ALL OVER
That’s not a show in Vegas, but a requirement for SRT drivers in the TUDOR Championship.
VER SATILE WITH A VIPER
our races into IMSA’s TUDOR United
SportsCar Championship and the teams
have had to deal with a 24-hour enduro on
an oval/infield road course, a 12-hour race
on bumpy concrete runways, a 100-minute
sprint on a street course, and a two-hour
fight on a natural terrain road course. Team
SRT’s Jonathan Bomarito explains how he
adapts his driving style to suit, even if the
results don’t always reflect the Viper’s pace…
We were fast at Daytona, but had incidents;
we would have won Sebring, but got hosed
by the non-call for the winner’s earlier
incident; at Long Beach we had a power
steering issue. At Laguna Seca, we
qualified badly, but had good race pace.
Then a wheelnut problem delayed us, and
the race stayed caution-free, so there was
no longer have to nurse their cars
because reliability has improved so much,
and the competition is so deep and fierce
that you’re pretty much driving as hard
as you can. Track position is key.
The way I look at is that even in a
24-hour race, each individual driver’s stint
is a sprint. Your only restriction, as in any
form of racing, is not to go too hard and
burn off the tires before the stint’s over.
In a race, managing tire life is the only
thing holding me back from driving the
Viper like I would on a qualifying lap!
That said, there is a difference between
the enduros and the sprint races, and
that’s the risks you take in traffic. If
there’s 12 hours to go, a GTLM driver is
going to think twice about making a late
lapping maneuver on a GTD car, for
no way to regain the time lost on pit lane.
In other words, we’re at our most
unlucky when we’re at our fastest ≠– that’s
called typical racing luck! Still, it’s always
fun to drive the SRT Viper, and I’m loving
the diversity of the challenges that the
TUDOR Championship throws at us.
Funny thing is, a driver’s approach to
these races is not as different as you’d
expect. Sports car racing has changed
over the last couple of decades. Drivers
“In a race, managing tires
is the only thing holding
me back from driving like I
would on a qualifying lap!”
WORDS Jonathan Bomarito
MAIN IMAGE Michael Levitt/LAT