Veteran Racer to Test Detroit’s Viper GT3-R


Veteran racer Ben Keating and Riley Technologies in Mooresville, N.C. expect to hold their first on-track testing of the Viper GT3-R in mid-October before the United SportsCar Racing season opens in January.

Designed by the Street and Racing Team (SRT) at Chrysler Group in Auburn Hills, the vehicle is the first mass-produced, GT3-based car to be designed and manufactured in the United States.

“We want to shake it down and develop it as much as we can in that test,” says Keating, who plans to drive the car as he competes full-time in the GT Daytona Class in 2014. “We expect to publicly debut the car at the USCR official test in November.”

Keating was first in line to purchase a SRT Viper GT3-R from Riley Technologies earlier this year. Riley is looking to build several Viper GT3-Rs over the next several months, but right now is focusing on the first unit, which is getting a final check for next month’s test.

“The Viper GT3-R is a good progression from a customer-based Viper,” says Bill Riley, vice-president of Riley Technologies.

The GT3-R  will emerge from the factory for several competition areas in addition to the USCR, including the Sports Car Club of America, North American Road Racing Association, and Pirelli World Challenge GT Class and International GT3 Championships.

“Racing is a big part of everything that SRT does,” says Beth Paretta, director of marketing and operations of SRT Brand and Motorsports. “It epitomizes the best of what our SRT performance brand represents and showcases the Viper’s natural affinity for performance.”

As parts for the Street and Racing Technology Motorsports V-10 thoroughbred are now available worldwide, Riley says “we’re talking to a lot of different customers here in the U.S. and worldwide about 2014.”

The last Viper GT3 car debuted in 2005 and went on to win two GT3 championships and a World Challenge GT title. That car was based on the GTS-R program dating back to 1996.

Keating’s car will carry No. 33 with primary sponsorship from ViperExchange and Client Command.