US GT Wittmer Wins Gilles Podiums!

Lee00blacksilverGTS

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Some good news from the two day weekend. Wittmer beats the Vetts both days, once starting from the back of the grid and Ralph works his way up through the pack to podium with a third. Frank Barba took GT-2 and there are a lot of other well known Vipers and names in the article.
Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Inquires
CALL NARRA 817 829 4893

Kuno Wittmer and Viper wins inaugural round of the US GT Championship.
<img name="ACCOUNT.IMAGE.133" alt="A huge field of GT cars at Road Altanta." border="0" vspace="5" width="609">A huge field of GT cars lined up for the inaugural round of the USGT Championship at Road Atlanta. Canadian Kuno Wittmer has won both races of the star-studded action-packed inaugural round of the North American Road Racing Association's US GT Championship held on the weekend at Road Atlanta circuit, Braselton, GA.


The Dodge Motorsports driver fended off furious competition, led by the MTI Racing Corvette of Reese ***, from a maximum capacity 43 car field of BMWs, Corvettes, Mazdas, Porches, Ferraris and Vipers.

Both Wittmer and *** also competed in the Whelen US Time Trial Championship during the weekend. Wittmer winning Saturday's competition, *** winning Sunday.

Kuno Wittmer commented; "I'm ecstatic to take home these fantastic trophies and to go down in history as the winner of the first US GT Championship race. And I believe the lap record holder, too.

This is one of the biggest fields I've ever raced against, with so many different marques. It's true GT racing. We had a good battle on our hands with Reese *** all weekend. I think the US GT Championship is going to be huge.

I'm sure the Dodge boys are happy we were triumphant over the Vettes and Porsches.
We (Dodge Motorsports) came here with a Dodge Viper Competition Coupe to test a new engine, but I can tell you I've just competed in one of the most enjoyable race meetings of my life.

Whether you're a club racer or a pro, the US GT Championship is a blast."

Famous faces in the paddock witnessing the inaugural US GT Championship race included Dodge President and CEO Ralph Gilles, Atlanta Falcons wide-receiver Dez White, award winning record producer Jim Jonsin, pro-skater Bucky Lasek, the voice of the US GT Championship and TV personality Tom Hnatiw, renowned sports car legend Randy Pobst, Mike Skeen and Australian racing driver Tom Drewer.
Local Reese *** was Wittmer's biggest challenger all weekend and started Saturday's race in style, leading the pack to the green flag. He was joined on a revised front row by the ViperExchange.com sponsored Dodge Viper ACR-X of Ben Keating.

Saturday's race began disastrously for Wittmer, however, who was lucky to make the start. After qualifying on pole position, his Dodge Viper Competition Coupe sustained damage from a blown tire while competing in the Whelen US Time Trail Championship. Dodge Motorsport worked franticly to repair the car, but Wittmer arrived late to the grid and was forced to start rear of field.

Wittmer charged hard and, in what was the drive of the weekend, powered through the entire field to catch Reese ***'s Corvette in only six laps.

In the process Wittmer set the US GT Championship GT-Unlimited track lap record at Road Atlanta
with a blindingly fast 1:23.467 lap, averaging 110mph around the undulating 2.54 mile circuit.

Wittmer gained control of the race shortly after. A four lap caution period late in the race closed the field but, after fending off *** on the restart, Wittmer took the flag and the GT-Unlimited class win.

Reese *** finished 2nd, Jeff Courtney (Viper ACR-X) finished 3rd, while Ben Keating and David Leonard (Corvette) rounded out the top five in GT-Unlimited.

Jim Stout (Viper Competition Coupe) took out GT-1 from Doug Nash (Viper Competition Coupe) and rookie John Tober (Viper ACR AR Edition), who impressed by finishing on the podium in his first race.

The GT-2 class was won by Frank Barba (Viper Competition Coupe) from Steve Loudin (Viper Competition Coupe) and Fred Turner (Corvette).

Sunday saw Wittmer trade the number 10 Dodge Viper Competition Coupe with Dodge president and CEO, Ralph Gilles. The change in equipment had little effect on Wittmer who qualified first, this time in an ACR-X, with Ben Keating second and Reece *** third.

A blistering start by Jim Garrett in his SpeedPromo/Motul sponsored car saw him briefly take the lead but by the end of the first lap Reese *** was out in front, with Kuno Wittmer close behind. Mechanical issues later forced Garrett out of contention.

Oil created havoc for the field on lap six and handed the lead to Wittmer after *** ran wide. Ben Keating suffered a similar fate while Billy Gropp (Viper ACR-X) capitalized on the chaos to move to third.

Reese *** continued to push hard in his Corvette, setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 13 with a time of 1:27.201, over half a second faster than Wittmer.

With 5 laps remaining Gilles, who had been moving up through the field all race, passed Gropp for third.
A lap later Gropp relinquished fourth overall to GT-1 competitor Jim Stout who set the USGTC GT-1 track lap record of 1:28.661.

The overall race and GT-Unlimited class win went to Kuno Wittmer. Reese *** was 2nd and Ralph Gilles finished 3rd. Billy Gropp and George Whelen's Marsh Racing Whelen Engineering Corvette finished 4th and 5th respectively in GT-Unlimited.

Jim Stout made it two wins from two starts in the GT-1 class, this time from Doug Nash and Fred Turner (Corvette).

Frank Barba won GT-2, and set the Road Atlanta USGTC GT-2 track lap record of 1:31.021, from Steve Loudin in his Tricel Honeycomb sponsored Dodge Viper Competition Coupe.

All the action was captured with over 30 GoPro cameras placed both on cars and trackside, and will be webcast exclusively on GoRacingTV.com, with commentary by the voice of the US GT Championship, television motorsport personality Tom Hnatiw.

The next round the of the US GT Championship will be held March 25-27 at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, Desert Center, California, not far from Palm Springs. For more information and event registration visit www.USGT-C.com or call 817 829 4893.
 

Bill Pemberton Woodhouse

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Good stuff, thanks for posting Lee!!! The snow has melted in Nebraska, but gotta envy the guys out having fun in the new Series .

Vicarious Couchraciing Association ( I figured that was what VCA stood for, ha )

Bill Pemberton:drive:
 

shooter_t1

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What was the "new engine" they were testing I wonder?.

And what is a" Viper ACR AR Edition".?
 

ViperTony

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Awesome work guys! I hope we get to see some of the footage from the GoPro cams!
 

MarcRoth

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My thoughts are the same. What is the new engine ???? We need to know !!! Pics please...
 

Tom Sessions

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What was the "new engine" they were testing I wonder?.

And what is a" Viper ACR AR Edition".?

The new engine was nothing fancy so dont read anything into it. Was able to help the Dodge boys work on it Thursday night. Its not the gen 5 Engine


The Viper ACR AR is a Archer Racing Edition car. Built by Archer Racing.
 

Boxer12

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Kuno (Pro) is amazing, and so is Ralph (Amateur (I think he is living a double life as a race car driver/executive)). To put this in perspective, 'local' Reese *** holds the NASA TT record at RA, at 1:27.19. I wish the track record (1:23.4! way to go KUNO!) had been smashed in the ACR-X, that would have been sweet. Could this 'new' CC motor be the ACR-X motor? (Give up some details Tom?) It makes sense to update the CC with the 8.4L.

Kuno, I hope you didn't have to drive from Montreal!! If so, be careful on the way home!
 

Malu59RT

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I am very proud of our cars, and our driver's, but also for Ralph being a true enthusiast like all of us. Can't say I've ever been more proud to be a DODGE Viper owner than I am today!
 

gb66gth

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Kuno is an ACE driver and a really nice guy, good for him.
However the really cool thing IMHO is Ralph Gilles getting a podium finish. How many other auto company CEO's were racing their company's product over the weekend? Not many I would guess.:2tu:
 

ViperGTS

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Kuno is an ACE driver and a really nice guy, good for him.
However the really cool thing IMHO is Ralph Gilles getting a podium finish. How many other auto company CEO's were racing their company's product over the weekend? Not many I would guess.:2tu:

:2tu: :2tu: :2tu: not that I know of any other CEO racing "his own products" :drive:
 

Kevan

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First, it was The Ring.
Then came Laguna Seca.
Now Road Atlanta.

Who's next? :D

Congrats to Corey Vetzsuk, Jim Stout, Kuno, and all the other Viper drivers!
 

Mopar Boy

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Congrats! You guys fly the race flags for the Viper Nation and you do a great job doing it! You make your VCA proud!

:)
 

shooter_t1

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The new engine was nothing fancy so dont read anything into it. Was able to help the Dodge boys work on it Thursday night. Its not the gen 5 Engine

I didn't think it was for the Gen V. Still didn't answer my question about the Comp Coupe engine with Gen 4 stuff on it though.
 

Alabaster Mamba

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Congrats to all the Viper drivers in the race. And special thanks to Kuno and Ralph. Makes you have confidence in your product when the President can go out and race it. As someone else stated, "How many other car manufacturer CEOs can do what Ralph did?".
 
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