From press release
2014 GT Le Mans champion starts the season with a victory.
Montreal driver Kuno Wittmer claimed this weekend’s 24 Hours of Daytona, the first round of the 2015 Tudor United SportsCar series, the North American Endurance championship. With his teammates Dominik Farnbacher, Cameron Lawrence, Ben Keating and Al Carter, Kuno Wittmer lead the Dodge Viper SRT to victory in the GT Daytona Class after having to start the event from the last position.
« It’s really an incredible win. It’s the definition of a perfect race, even after everything started pretty badly ! » confided Kuno Wittmer at the finish. During qualifying, the Quebec driver, and last year’s GT Le Mans champion, lost a wheel in the third lap of the session. « The rear right wheel detached itself while I was going 184mph. That’s not a wonderful feeling for a driver to experience, but I was thankful to be able to handle the car nevertheless, and avoid hitting the wall, even on just three wheels » explained Kuno. This unfortunate incident resulted in the team having to start the 24 hour race in last place, out of the 53 entered teams.
Owner-driver of the #93 Dodge Viper, American Ben Keating, took the start of the 2015 24 Hours of Daytona. After half an hour, he handed off the wheel to the remaining four drivers as Kuno Wittmer and his three teammates completed the remainder of this legendary Floridian classic. « Starting from the last position is not a huge handicap in a 24 hour race. The important thing is to avoid any kind of incident and to maintain a good strategy » explains Kuno. He specifies: « that’s exactly what happened to us ! The car was reliable and fast, the ViperExchange/TI Automotive team mechanics did an amazing job during the pit stops, and neither my teammates nor myself made any driving mistakes. We didn’t even get a flat when a braking point was missed… nothing. Truly a perfect race right through to the victory ! »
The #93 Dodge Viper took the lead of the GT Daytona class overnight, to cross the finish line 7.5 seconds ahead of its closest rivals. Kuno Wittmer and his teammates finished in thirteenth place overall (mix of Prototype and Grand Touring classes). « It feels good to reunite with the team that I was with when I won the championship in 2014. After winning last year in Indianapolis, in Texas, and winning the championship, I started the 2015 season with them once again, with a victory ! ».
Due to the end of the SRT team’s program in 2014, the Montreal driver has yet to be guaranteed that he’ll contest other Endurance events this season. « We will have to wait and see » admitted Kuno, « the goal was to do well at Daytona and we won the race. For now, I’m just savouring this success, which was made possible thanks to TI Automotive’s involvement, who, with ViperExchange, sponsored the two Dodge Vipers racing this weekend. Winning together in such a fantastic way to start the 2015 season » concluded Kuno Wittmer.