Rolex 24 SRT Viper GTS-R Desecrated at Chicago Auto Show
As you can probably imagine, a car gets pretty dirty during the course of a 24 hour long endurance race so after making through the entire Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, the #91 SRT Viper GTS-R was pretty filthy. Parts of the car were so thickly covered with track grime that you could barely tell what color that portion of the Viper was intended to be so when you combine that unique black grime with the scuffs and scratches that come during the course of the race – the #91 Viper looked like it had been through a battle.
To some, that dirt is nothing more than dirt, but to gearheads, racing fans and anyone who appreciates this unique form of filth, the #91 SRT Viper GTS-R left the track as a piece of rolling artwork. Because there are so many people in the world who, like me, see all of that dirt as a thing of beauty, the Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Technology brand wanted to take the #91 Viper race car exactly as it was when the race ended to show off at the Chicago Auto Show. They didn’t want to just show off the new SRT Viper GTS-R – they wanted to show of THE Viper that had made the return to the Rolex 24 and came away with a 3rd place finish. The car was to be left dirty to show just how much wear and tear a car faces while competing in a 24 hour race.
SRT went so far as to explain to the company shipping the Viper from Florida to Chicago that it wasn’t to be wiped off at all and the company took special precautions to ensure that Chicago show goers could see the Viper the same way that the crew did when it finished the Rolex 24.
Unfortunately, some of the people attending the 2014 Chicago Auto Show didn’t have the respect to keep their hands off of the car and they took it upon themselves to scribble in the dirt on the side of the car. The image shown above was posted to Twitter by endurance racer Ryan Lewis (@RyanLewisRacing) after the second day of the Windy City show and as you can see, people have written on almost every inch of the passenger’s side of the #91 Viper. Lewis proclaimed that “people suck” and after seeing his picture – I am inclined to agree. Judging by how much writing is on the side of the car, I would guess that a great many people in Chicago saw fit to deface the Viper GTS-R.
While this probably doesn’t seem like that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, it should be pointed out that one of the original Team Oreca Dodge Viper GTS-R race cars that won races all over the world is currently on display and it is still as dinged and dirty as it was when it left the track for the final time. Actions like the ones taken by some of the attendees in Chicago are why so many cars are roped off and kept far enough away that the general public cannot even see into the car.