US: after taking championships, Chrysler drops out of Viper racing program image

The SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper GTS-R racing program has been discontinued by Chrysler after it just brought home two championship wins, one of them during the last weekend.

The SRT Motorsports team has two cars and won the team and driver titles in the first edition of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTLM-class. The team was also second best in the GTLM manufacturer championship after just two full years of competition.

“Our company has made a business decision to discontinue the SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper GTS-R racing program,” said Ralph Gilles, senior vice president at Chrysler and the boss of the SRT program. “We are very proud of the amazing achievements our fantastic teams, drivers and partners have achieved on track the last few seasons,” he added.

While the move has not affected (yet) the Mopar brand’s drag racing program, Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne seems to have a love-hate affair with racing. He axed without much talks Chrysler’s expensive NASCAR program back in 2012 and the latest move was to dump Ferrari Chief Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, after voicing displeasure about the super-brand’s weak performance in Formula One.

While SRT was at one time in line to become a regular brand, Chrysler has moved recently to realign it as a maker of a handful of performance vehicles that are part of the Dodge brand – such as the SRT Hellcat series.