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Autoweek has learned that the pair of factory-backed SRT Vipers named on the entry list for the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans will not make the trip across the Atlantic for the race in June.

“We regretfully and respectfully decline to participate in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Brand and Motorsports. “We are honored to once again be invited by the [race organizer, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest] to compete in this historic event, and they were the first to be informed of our decision. We will remain focused on our North American racing program in 2014.”...

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I wonder one of the reasons because they are not selling well or because the plant are shut down. There got to be some reason,
 

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I wonder one of the reasons because they are not selling well or because the plant are shut down. There got to be some reason,
On Autoline After Hours, the other night, Ralph touched on this subject and the synopsis of that was financial reason. He said that the expense to go to Le Mans for one month is equivalent to going to four ALMS events in the states.

He also gave his explanation as to why the Viper sales are what they are now and why he has stopped production. But, I was distracted by something else and do not remember half of it.

Great information in the interview, but the Hellcat questions started to get long in the tooth.
 

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"We regretfully and respectfully decline to participate in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Brand and Motorsports. “We are honored to once again be invited by the [race organizer, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest] to compete in this historic event, and they were the first to be informed of our decision. We will remain focused on our North American racing program in 2014.”...
What North American racing program?? There's nothing more 'American racing' than NASCAR & Fiat/Chrysler has bailed on that too! :disgust:
 

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What North American racing program?? There's nothing more 'American racing' than NASCAR & Fiat/Chrysler has bailed on that too! :disgust:
That's not really true.They sunk a lot of money into the Nascar program to move foward,,and Penske bailed on them.
All the big teams are already sponsored,and they didn't want to turn to the small teams and not have a good showing.

If you keep up with Drag Racing you will see that Dodge is a big sponsor.And the last couple of years have been very successful in Pro Stock.And has done well with Funny Car sponsored cars as well.

I don't keep up with other forms of racing,so I can't comment on that.
 

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That's not really true.They sunk a lot of money into the Nascar program to move foward,,and Penske bailed on them.
All the big teams are already sponsored,and they didn't want to turn to the small teams and not have a good showing...
Actually, it's documented that Roger Penske wanted to renew the contract with Dodge, but Fiat/Chrysler dragged their heels & Ford made a helluva offer.
 

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When Penske Racing announced March 1 that it was switching to Ford next season, Dodge's future essentially was sunk in the Sprint Cup Series.
"That caught us by surprise, and we have not recovered since," Dodge motor sports chief Ralph Gilles said.
Penske's defection essentially left Dodge with limited options to contend in NASCAR's premier series. Powerhouse organizations such as Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing are locked into long-term deals with Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota.
While there were several mid-tier teams available, none had the capability to build engines or offer a winning driver.
Over the past year, Dodge also has expanded its footprint in other motor sports with younger demographics such as rallycross, sports cars and motocross. Gilles said the company was satisfied with the return on its investment in NASCAR (noting a tripling of the at-track marketing budget) and that its exit wasn't because of dollars.
"It was everything from driver selection, the (available) teams, the engine, you name it," he said. "It's a very, very complex situation.
 

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When Penske Racing announced March 1 that it was switching to Ford next season, Dodge's future essentially was sunk in the Sprint Cup Series.
"That caught us by surprise, and we have not recovered since," Dodge motor sports chief Ralph Gilles said.
Penske's defection essentially left Dodge with limited options to contend in NASCAR's premier series. Powerhouse organizations such as Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing are locked into long-term deals with Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota.
While there were several mid-tier teams available, none had the capability to build engines or offer a winning driver.
Over the past year, Dodge also has expanded its footprint in other motor sports with younger demographics such as rallycross, sports cars and motocross. Gilles said the company was satisfied with the return on its investment in NASCAR (noting a tripling of the at-track marketing budget) and that its exit wasn't because of dollars.
"It was everything from driver selection, the (available) teams, the engine, you name it," he said. "It's a very, very complex situation.
Yes, Fiat/Chrysler underestimated the Penske team & assumed they were dependent on them - which is why they dragged the contract renewal out - so when Ford swooped in with their offer, it caught them by surprise. Instead of exploring the possibility of adding another team, they lost the only one they had.

Simply said, Fiat/Chrysler dropped the ball with NASCAR. :indifferent:
 

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Yea I agree with that.It seemed that Penske wanted a five year contract and Dodge didn't want to commit themselves to that long of a contract.
But you stated that Dodge dropped out which was not the case.The car I posted was developed for the 2013 season.They weren't expecting Penske to jump before the negotiations were final.
Penske thought they could do better with Ford,but it didn't happen last year,and I wish them all of the worst of luck for the future.
As far as the Viper,even though I will not own one,I would hate to see them go away.
 
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