Kumho expanding into GT2 class
Kumho is stepping up its American Le Mans Series activity by becoming the tire partner for Woodhouse Performance, which will field a Viper Competition Coupe in GT2 at next week’s Acura Sports Car Challenge. It marks the first foray into GT2 for both Kumho and Dodge.
The event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is the only Series event the Viper is scheduled to appear in this season. The Woodhouse Performance team is converting one of its World Challenge GT Vipers to GT2 specs as the team and Dodge evaluates the performance of the Viper Competition Coupe as an alternative to World Challenge so that all Viper Competition Coupes have more than one choice in professional racing.
The Viper will compete on Kumho tires that were developed specifically for the car. Kumho debuted in the American Le Mans Series in 2005 and currently supplies tires for Intersport Racing in LMP1, and B-K Motorsports and van der Steur Racing in LMP2. The tire manufacturer also won the LMP2 class at Le Mans this year with Binnie Motorsports.
“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 American Le Mans Series 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 American Le Mans Series effort in 2008.”
SCCA drivers Cindi Lux and Stan Wilson will drive the Viper at Mid-Ohio. Lux, a former Women’s Global GT Series champion, will make her third Series start while Wilson will make his debut.
“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.”