Monday, October 06, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Dodge Withdraws From IMSA Sports Car Series

Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it is discontinuing the factory-backed SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Motorsports racing program in International Motor Sports Association competition at the conclusion of the 2014 season. This decision affects participation in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with the Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R GTLM-class team. The Dodge brand will redirect its focus and efforts on the brand's product lineup.

"Our company has made a business decision to discontinue the SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper GTS-R racing program," said Ralph Gilles, Senior Vice President of Product Design, Chrysler Group LLC. "We are very proud of the amazing achievements our fantastic teams, drivers and partners have achieved on track the last few seasons. We thank them for their hard work, effort and commitment to SRT Motorsports. It's been an honor to be a part of the inaugural IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season and we wish them every success in the future."
The Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R 2014 season concluded Saturday at the Petit Le Mans, winning both the team and driver (Kuno Wittmer) titles in the inaugural IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTLM-class. SRT Motorsports won two of the three championships contested in the class and finished second in the GTLM manufacturer championship in just its second full year of competition.
Dodge left NASCAR competition at the end of the 2012 racing season.


  1. Marchionne must have something up his sleeve.

  2. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Hmmmmm, when the inventory runs out will the Viper go forever? They are putting their bets on Hellcat. Maybe looking at returning to NASCAR with the new engine? It would be good for all concerned.

  3. Anonymous3:32 PM

    Perhaps someone out there can answer this question for me. Other than the logo on the front of the car, what makes a Ford a Ford? What makes a Chevy a Chevy? These cars are all built by the individual teams from the ground up with Hendricks's engines or Yates engines. NASCAR mandates height, length, weight and almost every other item in a typical car. Where does the "manufacturer support" come into play? Dodge got out because there was no benefit to their company and they won the championship that year. In Dave's article, they won again and are getting out. If winning championships brings no benefits, why stay in it? Can you see a time coming where there are no Ford's, no Chevy's and no Toyota's that each team has a generic car built from the ground up according to NASCAR specs ?

    1. Dodge did not get out because there was "no benefit to their company." As Ralph Gilles said very clearly at the time, they exited because they could not find a team that built its own engines, chassis and hung its own bodies. Dodge wanted an in-house "factory team," and could not convince any of the major owners to come into their camp.

      And to answer your initial question, the engines and bodies are specific to each manufacturer. There are many similarities in the bodies, but also many differences.

    2. Read that earlier, pretty bummed as a huge Dodge / SRT fan. Though I will say, I'm glad they chose to leave rather than just hang around and not be competitive (assuming some of the other teams that approached them were truly interested in running Dodge) after Penske left the Dodge fold. Maybe they'll return someday, though I doubt it'd be anytime soon if they did.

    3. Anonymous5:23 PM

      Thanks for the answer Dave. I've not been a NASCAR for very long, only about 4 years now, but I love the sport. I'm still learning and I like that as well. I think NASCAR has done a heck of a job this year with the new CHASE format and knock out qualifying. I even started up with "XM" radio just to get the NASCAR channel.

  4. Anonymous8:55 PM

    I think it there is much more behind this then Mr. Gilles is saying . Chrysler is still restructuring its product line . I don't care that we are leaving that series but dam cant we keep a car in cup ! I have to think the Chrysler corp. has enough money to build several engines for several seasons for a team . I don't think that the whole win on sunday and sell on Monday has as much as affect as it once did. I could not tell you one person that came into my dealership after Brad K. won the championship and said he or she was buying a charger cause he won it. Well if you here a caravan is qualifying for the Daytona 500 god help us all !!!!!!! LOL

  5. That Dodge left because it could not find a team with its own in-house engine program leads to the question of why the manufacturers don't help teams be able to build their own engine shops and engines. I'm not buying that it would not be more economical in the long run for the individual teams to be able to build their own individual engines. This lease dealing may have kept some teams running but really has not made anyone better.

    When it was in NASCAR the last time the Dodge program was run very poorly - the One Team approach of Lou Patane was discarded by the parent company and even though Dodges won over thirty races and eventually the 2012 driver title the teams other than Penske fell into chaos and the program basically died out.

    If Dodge ever does come back to NASCAR - not that I'm putting stock into rumors to that effect - it needs to have learned the lesson as it needed to emphasize greater depth than it did. I doubt there'd be a shortage of teams that wouldn't work well with Dodge.

  6. It is absolutely disgusting that us mopar fans have no charger to pull for in nascar been mopar fan for 42 years all my family owns and now they have the baddest cars on the road with the hellcats and you would think they could return to cup racing I mean it's really sad. There is a lot of mopar fans that are really pissed