When Dodge introduced the world to the Viper, they weren’t just selling a new car; they were bringing supercars back to America. With Lamborghini engineering worked into the Viper’s bloodline, it soon became obvious that what was a great road car was an even better track car. In 1999 the inaugural American Le Mans Series season kicked off, and despite missing two of the races, the factory-backed Team ORECA went on to win six races and the GTS class championship.
To welcome the 2013 SRT Viper back to ALMS, the series put together this mini-documentary about the Viper’s early domination of the American Le Mans Series first two seasons.
With Olivier Beretta at the wheel, the Dodge Viper lept to the front of the pack right from the get-go. As we already mentioned, Beretta and the Viper won six of the first season’s eight races. Despite missing two races, they still had more than enough points to nail down the very first ALMS GTS class championship.
Team ORECA, Beretta, and the Viper would have an even better season in the year 2000, when they won 8 of the 10 ALMS races, as well as winning the 24 Hours of LeMans in their class for the second year in a row. Alas, once Chrysler pulled its support of Team Oreca and the Viper in 2001, the Viper quickly faded from view, giving rise to Corvette Racing and the Flying Lizard Porsches.
But the Viper will soon rejoin the American Le Mans Series, backed by Chrysler once again. Can it climb back to the top, or has the competition grown too tough in the past decade? We can’t wait to find out.