By Roger Meiners
The poster spread across this page is a unique statement of Dodge Viper history (or is it HISSSSTORY?), told in its images. Chrysler published a great series of posters chronicling the proud record of Viper racing worldwide during the years of Chrysler’s direct factory support for Viper race teams. We resurrected a few of these works of art for your enjoyment in these pages. These are becoming collectors’ items now, and will continue to be so as time goes on, especially since we are now witnessing the end of Viper production—at least for now.
Poster collecting is and has always been an integral part of the car sport. Some of the older examples of automotive posters can cost well into the thousands of dollars.
To go with the posters, here is a compilation of Viper racing milestones during the era of Chrysler factory support:
Dodge Viper Racing Timeline
- January: Viper GTS/R racing program approved. Neil Hanneman appointed to direct the program.
- August: First Viper GTS/R ready for testing. Built at Jeep® and Truck Engineering.
- Viper GTS/R is officially unveiled at the Monterey Historic Automobile Races, Laguna Seca Raceway, Calif. Hanneman demonstrates the car on the track.
- November: Testing at Charlotte, N.C.
- Viper finishes seventh in class and 29th overall at the 24 hours of Daytona in January.
- Hannemann departs and Dick Meyers takes over as program director.
- Team ORECA announces they will run a limited schedule with a GTS/R in the GT-1 class in Europe and the BPR Global Series in Asia as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
- Canaska Southwinds will also run a limited schedule in the GTS-1 class in the North American IMSA GT Championship. The team finishes 29th at the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12th at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
- A Viper Coupe paces the Indianapolis 500.
- Viper takes the pole in GT2 at Le Mans and leads the race by as much as five laps after five hours. Leading by seven laps at dawn before electrical problems result in a 14th place finish.
- Team ORECA finishes 12th at the 24 Hours of Daytona racing in the IMSA GT Series. ORECA also runs in Europe in the FIA GT Championship Series. Moving to the GT-2 class, the Vipers win seven of 11 races on their way to the series championship.
- Chamberlain Engineering campaigns a GTS/R.
- Team Taisan races a Viper in the All Japan Grand Touring Car Championship.
- The ORECA team continues its domination in FIA GT racing by winning 9 of the 10 races during the season including a first in class win at Le Mans finishing eleventh overall. This is the second year in a row that the team wins the FIA GT championship.
- Oftedahl Motorsports races a Viper GTS/R and takes six class wins in the British GT Championship, including an overall win at Silverstone.
- Meyers departs and Dick Winkles takes over as program director.
- A Viper wins the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.
- Team ORECA wins the class championship in the American Le Mans Series and wins nine of 10 races in the FIA GT series to capture the championship.
- Chamberlain Engineering is second in the FIA GT championship.
- Vipers place 1st through 6th in the GTS Class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with ORECA winning the class.
- Paul Belmondo’s Viper team earns two victories in the FFSA GT Championship series.
- 1st in the German Championship – Team Zakspeed.
- Team ORECA wins the 24 Hours of Daytona and goes on to win 10 races and the championship in the American Le Mans series.
- ORECA takes third straight class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
- 1st in the French Championship – Team DDO.
- st in the 24 Hours of Zolder – Team GLPK.
- Team Belmondo Racing earns 2nd in the team class of the FIA Championship.
- Team Carsport Holland wins 3rd in the driver’s championship of FIA.