If there’s anything that sounds like freedom, it’s the Dodge Viper, which boasts one of the most glorious sounding V10 engines in production today. Now the Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GTS-R has moved off the waiting list for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, so it will singlehandedly make France more awesome this June.
The #39 Morgan Evo-Sard LMP2 dropped off the Le Mans entry list, making way for the ex-works Viper team at Riley Motorsports to come on over. Riley was first on the wait list. The team has been competing in TUDOR United SportsCar races this year in the GT Daytona class with a Viper GT3-R.
According to Autosport, Riley Motorsports will run the #3 chassis for Le Mans, which Kuno Wittmer drove to a class championship last year at Petit Le Mans. The team probably hopes it’s a lucky car.
Driving the team’s #53 Le Mans entry will be Jeroen Bleekemoelen, Ben Keating and Marc Miller, per Sportscar365. Keating and Bleekemoelen are longtime members of the Viper squad, but Miller is a Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge standout who currently drives for CJ Wilson Racing. I’m looking forward to see what Miller can do in something bigger than CJ Wilson’s MX-5! Needless to say, Miller is excited about it, too, given that it’s his first trip to Le Mans.
“I met Bill [Riley] long ago racing shifter karts and was quickly drawn to his personality and work ethic,” Miller told Sportscar365. “Even the consideration of being a part of such a strong Le Mans effort I would humbly consider as a career highlight. When you start adding up all the variables and look at the team, the drivers involved and the strength of the car, it really does become a movie dream sequence for me.”
The drivers are all prepared for the challenge of representing ‘Murica at Circuit de La Sarthe, but they’re confident that this is the best team to bring home a win in GT-Am.
“Because of the structure of the racing at Le Mans, every driver is key,” explained Keating to Sportscar365. “You don’t get to make up lost time in a safety period like you can at Daytona. If we lose four seconds per lap with one driver, then we won’t ever get the chance to easily get that time back any other way than driving faster in the future. We all have to be on our game.”
As a team, Riley has decades of experience at Le Mans. If anyone’s going to fly the star-spangled banner all over France, it should be this team.
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