Friday, July 13, 2007

Kumho to Supply Tires for Dodge Viper ALMS GT2 Car

Kumho to supply tires for Dodge Viper ALMS GT2 car Kumho Tire U.S.A. will supply tires for the Woodhouse Performance Dodge Viper Competition Coupe in the GT2 class at the American Le Mans Series Acura Sportscar Challenge at Mid-Ohio on July 21. This will be the first appearance in the ALMS GT2 class for both Kumho and Dodge. Kumho currently competes in the ALMS prototype classes, and Dodge last raced in the American Le Mans Series in 2002 with the Viper GTS-R.

The Mid-Ohio race is the only ALMS event the Viper is scheduled to appear in this season. The Woodhouse Performance team is converting one of its SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT Vipers to ALMS GT2 specs for the Mid-Ohio race. The car is slated to return to World Challenge GT competition after the Mid-Ohio ALMS race.The Viper will compete on Kumho tires that were developed specifically for the car. “We’ve worked closely the last few years with Dodge Motorsports and the Viper Competition Coupe in SCCA Club Racing,” said Rudy Consolacion, Kumho’s motorsports manager, “and now we’re developing a tire that’s designed specifically for the Viper in the ALMS GT2 class. We’re making great progress with our LMP1 and LMP2 tires, and we’re eager to enter the fray of GT2 competition. We hope to use this as a stepping stone to expand Kumho’s ALMS effort in 2008.”

SCCA drivers Cindi Lux and Stan Wilson will drive the Viper at Mid-Ohio. Lux currently races a Viper in SPEED World Challenge GT competition with NayKid Racing teammate Scotty B. White. She previously raced a Viper in the SCCA’s T1 class, where she won two Divisional Championships, the prestigious June Sprints and finished second at the 2006 Runoffs, all on Kumho tires. This will be her third start in an ALMS race, with a previous best finish of sixth at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in 2000.

Wilson currently competes in the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car series, where he leads the Rookie of the Year standings. He competed in a Viper in the SPEED World Challenge GT series in 2004 and won numerous SCCA divisional championships on Kumho tires.

“Cindi and Stan have had a lot of success on our tires in SCCA competition,” said Consolacion, “and they’ve played a big role in the development of our DOT competition tires. We’re glad we can help them step up to the American Le Mans Series.”

“Returning to the American Le Mans Series with Kumho and Dodge is so comforting,” said Lux. “I’ve worked closely with both companies over the years and know and respect their products. The Viper Competition Coupe is a great car and very competitive in World Challenge trim, so it will be interesting to see how it stacks up against Porsche, Ferrari and Panoz.”

“I’m happy to be part of Kumho’s first GT2 program,” said Wilson. “This is a learning exercise for everyone involved. At the conclusion of this race weekend, we should have enough data to make some decisions about the future.”

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