Sports-car racing veteran and automotive television personality Tommy Kendall is the latest addition to the new SRT Viper GTS-R team that will compete in the American Le Mans Series. The team’s first on-track appearance, as reported last week, will be at the Aug. 4 ALMS race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Kendall, 45, first made the announcement on Sunday night on the Speed network’s Wind Tunnel program.
“I got a call out of the blue about six weeks ago inviting me to a driver shootout,” said the multitime IMSA GT and Trans-Am Series champion. “I said, what the heck, let’s do it, although I haven’t driven anything competitively in six years. I didn’t have any idea how it was going to turn out, but fortunately the stopwatch doesn’t know how old you are. Obviously, it went well enough and I got the nod. I’m going to be campaigning for SRT Motorsports and their Viper program in ALMS.”
Kendall joins three other full-time drivers announced previously, including German racer Dominik Farnbacher, Belgian Marc Goossens and Canadian Kuno Wittmer. Izod IndyCar Series points leader Ryan Hunter-Reay from Dallas will join the team for the season-ending Petit Le Mans endurance event at Road Atlanta.
“Tommy Kendall is an excellent addition to our team,” said Beth Paretta, director of marketing and operations for the SRT brand and motorsports. “It’s fitting that Tommy makes his return to competition as the SRT Viper GTS-R returns to ALMS. He competed in the SRT Viper Cup Series recently at Virginia International Raceway and drove from the back to the front of the field in impressive fashion before a fuel problem relegated him to a third-place finish. His experience as a road racer makes him a strong addition to our team.”
The SRT Viper GTS-R race cars will this year compete in the ALMS events at Mid-Ohio, Road America, Virginia International Raceway and Road Atlanta. The team will skip the Grand Prix of Baltimore, the only other race remaining on the ALMS calendar. SRT plans to compete full-time in the series in 2013.