Chrysler Viper GTS-R

Called The Chrysler Viper GTS -R, Dodge Viper GTS rare as -R ( Grand Tourismo Sport Racing), was a successful motor sports version of the Dodge Viper. It was developed the United States, ORECA from France and Reynard Motorsport in the United Kingdom in collaboration of Chrysler from. The vehicle was unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 1995 and won in its history several famous races and championships. Some chassis are also still used today in motorsport.

  • 3.1 race wins 3.1.1 Total Wins
  • 3.1.2 Class Win


In the early 1990s, the Dodge Viper RT/10 was modified by several motorsport teams and used without much success in sports car racing in North America and Europe. Although the V10 engine was powerful, the vehicle was not suitable for motor sports and the teams lacked the financial resources to build a vehicle that could compete against works cars. A bigger problem was the fact that the Viper Roadster did not have the torsional rigidity of a coupe. Due to the sales success of the first generation of Viper Dodge started the vehicle to modernize 1995. In addition to improvements of the roadster model program was a coupe known as Viper GTS adds.

Although the first generation of Viper sold well, Dodge wanted to show the potential of the new vehicle, especially in the area of ​​handling. At the same time, Dodge hoped to boost sales in Europe, as the import of the Viper proved there to be difficult. Dodge's parent company Chrysler, therefore, confirmed the development of a racing program for the Viper GTS, which was at that time still in development. This further project allowed the use of parts of the race car for the street car and vice versa, which benefited both versions.

Chrysler thought of having to get external help to customize the vehicle not only for North American, but also European racetracks. An agreement was found with the French motor racing team and constructor ORECA, which had many years of experience in sports car racing, and with the support of the 1991 Mazda 787B won the 24 - hour race at Le Mans. ORECA constructed and maintained the racing cars and operational Chrysler factory team in Europe. For North America, Chrysler chose the team Canaska / South wind out of the factory operations.

While ORECA developed the vehicles, the chassis and some other parts were made ​​by British designer Reynard Motorsport, before they were delivered to the building to ORECA. The engine of the Viper was ideal for racing since he was just having a displacement of 7986 cc below the limit of 8000 cc. The V10 engine received minor modifications, the injection system has been improved for better performance and reinforcements for added durability were made.

A large part of the body of the Viper GTS was retained in the racing version. Some important items such as a rear spoiler, a rear diffuser and front wings were added to improve the aerodynamics. Early copies had concealed fog lights before they were installed for better visibility at night again. For better lighting, additional headlights were mounted in square indentations optional above the grille. The exhaust was passed sideways out of the vehicle before the rear wheels. This property was already the first generation of Viper, but was no longer used in the Viper GTS. Openings in the hood was added for a better cooling of the engine, while further inlet ports are placed on the roof and the rear fenders.

After the production of five prototypes for testing purposes ORECA and Canaska / Southwind 52 more vehicles were built. A total of 57 Viper GTS -R were produced. Although some vehicles were used by the factory teams, most of which were sold directly to customer teams. Since the end of production 2005 ORECA focused on the support and maintenance of the existing fleet of Viper GTS -R.


Although the road cars are named Dodge Viper, the Viper was not sold in Europe under the brand Dodge. Since the GTS -R racing cars mentioned were made ​​in Europe, they are known as Chrysler Viper GTS -R. Nevertheless, the vehicles used in North America were mostly referred to as Dodge Viper GTS -R. The name difference is entirely dependent on the region. The vehicles themselves were not wearing brand logo on the side of the hood is only the lettering Viper GTS -R.

At the 24 - hour race at Daytona in 2000 continued his ORECA Dodge Viper GTS vehicles as R / T a. However, this was only for marketing reasons for Dodge R / T model line. These vehicles were not different from the other Viper GTS -R.


To meet the requirements for several racing series, in which the Viper GTS -R should be used, had to be sold to the public with similarity to the Viper GTS -R a certain number of road vehicles. Although the Viper GTS -R already had great similarities with the Viper GTS, an even more similar version was needed to meet the requirements for homologation.

This Viper GT2 called version, as the Viper GTS -R should be used in the European group GT2 got the rear wing and front splitter of the Viper GTS -R and their brake pads and a deeper dashboard. Replicas of the BBS racing rims were also used. The engine power was increased to 460 hp (340 kW). All 100 vehicles were based on the paint scheme that was used by ORECA, the same scheme with two blue stripes.

Racing history

When the Viper GTS -R debuted in 1996 in motorsport, ORECA used them in the European-Asian BPR Global GT Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Canaska / Southwind, however, also launched in the North American IMSA GT Championship. His first race was the car in the 24 Hours of Daytona in a team Canaska / Southwind, which ended the race in 29th place. The 12- hour race at Sebring, the team was able to improve by it was at the end of the race in twelfth place. In the Team ORECA Viper GTS -R debuted at the first round of the BPR Global GT Series in April, in which the vehicle but failed.

Both teams competed, each with two vehicles at the 24- hour race at Le Mans, of which three of the four vehicles used were able to achieve the goal. Canaska / Southwind achieved with tenth place, the best result of the Viper GTS -R. Subsequently, the two teams went back to their racing series. Canaska / Southwind finished the season at Mosport, where it finished the race in sixth place and second in his class was from. ORECA came next on the agenda at the 1000 km of Suzuka and was sixth before end of the season was followed by an eighth place at Brands Hatch, a ninth place in spa and a sixth place in Nogaro.

1997 failed to boot Canaska / South Wind on the Viper GTS -R. ORECA was therefore the only team that participated with a Viper on the IMSA GT Championship. The only vehicle used in the 24- hour race at Daytona crossed the finish line in twelfth place. After Daytona ORECA returned to Europe in order to focus on the new FIA GT Championship, which the Global GT Series replaced. There joined the team because of the strong competition from the Porsche 911 GT1 and Mercedes -Benz CLK GTR in the weaker class GT2. At the same now the customer team Chamberlain stepped on a Viper GTS -R in the FIA ​​GT Championship. ORECA started the season with a double victory in the Porsche 911 GT2 used by Roock Racing. In the other ten races of the season, followed by six more class wins and ORECA won the GT2 championship. The team also came back with three cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The best result was a 14th place overall and five in its class. The customer team Taisan played with a Viper GTS -R two runs of the Japanese GT Championship, and achieved eighth place his best result.

ORECA consolidated its dominance in the FIA ​​GT Championship in 1998, when the team decided nine of the ten races for themselves. It also reached the 24- hour race at Le Mans his first class victory and finished the race in eleventh place in the overall standings. Chamberlain Engineering continued to perform in the FIA ​​GT Championship and was able to enter some championship points. Also in the 24- hour race at Daytona, the team was at the start and finished the race in 14th place now Oftedahl Motorsport had a Viper GTS -R bought and thus scored six class victories in the British GT Championship. At Silverstone, the team succeeded the overall award.

1999 built ORECA his commitment and was now active in two racing series: two vehicles were used in the American Le Mans Series and also continue in the FIA ​​GT Championship. The Viper GTS -R was victorious in each of the ten FIA GT races, which went nine victories at ORECA and a. To the team of Paul Belmondo While ORECA defended his championship title, Chamberlain improved to second place. In addition, with GLPK Cars Port attended a fourth Viper team to the championship. In the American Le Mans Series ORECA could also decide the championship of the GTS class of its own, winning six championship runs. ORECA also scored his second class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. See the following five places were occupied by vipers. In the French GT Championship Paul Belmondo Viper competed, which won two races. Zakspeed achieved overall victory at the 24 -hour race at the Nürburgring.

For the 2000 season, ORECA decided to focus on North America, and to leave the FIA GT Championship the private teams. The team began the season with a great success, as it with a narrow margin, won the 24 - hour race at Daytona before the new factory-loaded Chevrolet Corvette C5 -R. ORECA won ten races in the American Le Mans Series, the championship decided in his favor and was only beaten by the Corvette factory team end of the season in two championship runs. Also in the 24- hour race at Le Mans, the team defended the second class win in a row. In the FIA ​​GT Championship, the team of Paul Belmondo and the new team Carsport Holland won a total of four races, but were surpassed by Julian Bailey and Jamie Campbell -Walter in the Lister Storm GT, which won five championship races. Therefore, the two Viper teams finished in the championship, the second and third place behind the Lister Storm works team. In the French GT Championship, the teams DDO, ART and MMI drove a total of eight victories on the Viper GTS -R.

Chrysler factory support for Viper GTS -R ended the 2001 season as Chrysler and ORECA in the previous year, the development of a Le Mans prototype, the Chrysler LMP began. ORECA therefore began no further Viper under its own designation. So only remained with American Viperacing in the American Le Mans Series at a Viper GTS -R. The team finished the championship in third place, but scored no race wins. In the FIA ​​GT Championship took during the season, however, some eight different Viper teams. Larbre Compétition won three races, including the 24 - hour race at Spa -Francorchamps and decided the championship. Cars Port Netherlands, the runner-up, get two race wins. Hayles Racing won the British GT Championship with two points ahead of the Lister Storm factory team, while the team DDO won five races in the French GT Championship and Zakspeed erlang again the victory in the 24 -hour race at the Nürburgring. At the 24 - hour race at Le Mans, the Viper GTS -R could not repeat their successes of the past, because this time the Corvette factory team won the class and only a viper reached the goal.

Larbre could defend his title in the 2002 FIA GT Championship, but won only the 24 - hour race at Spa-Francorchamps. Cars Port Netherlands and Paul Belmondo also won each in a race, while the new Ferrari 550 -GTS Maranello BMS Scuderia Italia with four race victories showed his potential. The only other race wins on a Viper GTS -R scored DDO in the French GT Championship with four hits and Zakspeed with his now third victory in the 24 -hour race at the Nürburgring. A supported ORECA Viper took third place in its class behind the two factory Corvettes in the 24- hour race at Le Mans.

2003 began the dominance of developed by Prodrive Ferrari 550 The Viper GTS -R were not able to win races in the FIA ​​GT Championship. Larbre as the best Viper team finished the championship in seventh place. In the French GT Championship Larbre won seven races, however, and Force One Racing two more. The Team Taisan managed in the Japanese GT Championship his first class win in a race at Fuji Speedway. For the first time were also in the Italian GT Championship Viper at the start, which won during the season five of the eight championship races. At the same time Viper now took part for the last time in the 24- hour race at Le Mans, which ended Larbre fourth in the GTS class.

2004 began the period of the Viper GTS -R to run. Only Zwaan 's Racing played a full season in the FIA ​​GT Championship and was the ninth year the team standings. However, the Viper remained dominated with eleven victories continue the French GT Championship. Also in the Italian GT Championship won the car in five races. In 2005, the FIA ​​GT Championship, only the 24-hour race in Spa -Francorchamps a single Viper part, which reached the finish in twelfth place. Also in the Italian GT Championship, only three remained Viper team, which won no races. The French GT Championship was the only racing series, in which the Viper were still competitive. Nine races were decided by Viper teams, including a race by former Formula 1 World Champion Alain Prost.

2006 Viper GTS -R continued to attend the French and Italian GT Championship, although the number of wins still decreased. 2007 ran from the homologation of the Viper GTS -R, since the end of production of the Viper GTS now dated back seven years. Few private drivers took in part on the Viper GTS -R on the French and Italian GT championship, while Red Racing a viper in individual races of the FIA ​​GT Championship began, but was never able to finish a race. 2008 took the Italian team Lanza Motorsport with a Viper during the running of the FIA ​​GT Championship in Italy in part, but did not reach the goal.

In 2007, the first time a Viper GTS -R was used in the new GT90s series at a historic race in Magny -Cours. The vehicle used were the Viper GTS -R, won the FIA GT Championship with Karl Wendlinger and Olivier Beretta 1999. The same vehicle was used in 2008 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​. In addition to historical racing series, vehicles are sometimes still used in amateur sport. Thus, for example, moves 2010 Daniel Schrey in the Special Touring Car Trophy and in uphill races a Viper GTS -R.


Since its race debut in 1996, the Viper GTS -R has both many victories and class victories achieved and won many championships.

Race wins

Total wins

  • 24 -Hour Race at the Nürburgring - 1999, 2001 and 2002
  • 24 - hour race at Daytona - 2000
  • 24 - hour race at Spa -Francorchamps - 2001 and 2002

Class wins


  • FIA GT Championship - 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002
  • American Le Mans Series - 1999 and 2000
  • French GT Championship - 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005
  • Belgian GT Championship - 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2009
  • Italian GT Championship - 2003 and 2004
  • German Nürburgring Endurance Cup - 1999


After Chrysler 's factory support after the 2000 season, withdrew, and after 2003 appeared the new model of the Viper, the Viper GTS - R were gradually withdrawn. Nevertheless believed Dodge, the new Viper is suitable enough for motorsports, so Dodge supported a racing program for the new vehicle. In contrast to the Viper GTS -R, there are no works teams for the new model. These new vehicles, known as the Dodge Viper Competition Coupes directly to customers who want a ready-built race car, sold. The vehicles in accordance with the GT3 group and are far less developed and slower than the Viper GTS -R, which corresponded to the regulations of the present group GT1. The racing program of the Viper Competition Coupe is again directed by ORECA where the vehicles are built for Dodge.