Breaking-news-chrysler-kills-factory-backed-road-race program

Mopar Events and Classic Car Shows

  1. Hemioutlaw

    Hemioutlaw Well-Known Member

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    In a move we’re not sure anyone saw coming, Chrysler announced just minutes ago that they were killing, effective immediately, all of their factory backed road racing efforts. This seems to fall in line with the general direction of the direction SRT has been heading in after announcing that the company would not be reentering NASCAR. We have also heard that SRT will lend no factory support to NHRA pro stock racers as well, but at this point the big story is the road racing program that was just starting to get its legs under it and have some success.

    http://bangshift.com/bangshiftapex/...ed-road-racing-program-effective-immediately/

    This Sucks, wonder whats up with this.
     
  2. EL5DEMON340

    EL5DEMON340 Well-Known Member

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    Probably not enough return on the money they are forking out. That is usually the case with this type of stuff. Drag and nascar viewership is way down, NHRA is almost nonexistent.
     
  3. marksmopar1

    marksmopar1 Well-Known Member

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    Well....I think the "big three" as they are known will all be in the same situation very soon.
    It's all about the cash $$$$$
    The support for the racing always gives way when the end is near...History does repeat sometimes....
     
  4. FJ5 Duster

    FJ5 Duster FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Just like they have been talking about over on allpar... The new Chrysler is burning a lot of bridges in the motorsports world!!! Teams no longer trust Chrysler to back them long term! Lets hope they don't f up and drop NHRA support!!!
     
  5. dragondan64

    dragondan64 Banned

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    WTF? First they sell out to the Fiat corp and now dropping racing sponsorships? The all mighty dollar is causing this and after all they see this as business only so they will start to eliminate that problem by cutting the funds to race teams. Before I read this article my dad mentioned something the other night about what he noticed at the many drag strips he races at while touring the states, he says there is less and less cars with the Mopar or SRT emblems/stickers on their cars and the teams are seeking new sponsors just to stay afloat. This really sucks!
     
  6. dragondan64

    dragondan64 Banned

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    Oh and the BIG 3 used to be American owned and operated and now NONE are!
     
  7. Old Man Mopar

    Old Man Mopar Righteous Dude

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    Remember, Ford pulled out of NHRA as of next year......including all of John Force Racing.
     
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    • Brads70

      Brads70 Well-Known Member

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      Bummer! Hey???? ship all the leftover cars/parts to my place, I'll make good use of them! ;)
       
    • marksmopar1

      marksmopar1 Well-Known Member

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      LOL..Yup "Big Three". Those days are over... Fiat is just another 4 letter word ...
      Is the writing on the wall? Does race Sunday sell Monday still apply? Seems it does not! The money isn't in it for the factories to support it. Looks like the automotive industry is at a turning point. Go green....go where the marketing is easy...go for the cash. That is business.....and it sucks
       
    • 67Dart273

      67Dart273 Well-Known Member

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      Yeh, 'n I can remember someone on one of these boards defending the Yugo takeover 'n how the CEO was "very performance oriented." Yup. OK

      Should not matter to me. I'll never be able to afford a new one, and except for a RAM, maybe, there's no new "Chrysler" products I want, certainly not a Dart, LOL
       
    • tedsweet

      tedsweet Well-Known Member

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      racing doesnt sell cars
       
    • fratzog lover

      fratzog lover Well-Known Member

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      Not anymore, its a different world.
       
    • FJ5 Duster

      FJ5 Duster FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      From allpar.com

      More News from the press wire. This from Steven Cole Smith from Motorsport.com

      Please note the sections in bold.

      Why Dodge killed the SRT Viper racing program

      By: Steven Cole Smith, Editor in Chief, Motorsport.com
      Posted: Yesterday at 8:55pm


      Yes, of course, it's money. But there's more to it than that.

      Tell me, readers, if you have ever heard of a better indication of how quickly things can change in the corporate world of motorsports.

      At 1 p.m. today, I did a telephone interview with Kuno Wittmer, who on Saturday drove a Dodge SRT Viper GTS-R to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GT-Le Mans season driver’s title and team title. We spoke of how the momentum from this past season would carry over into 2015, and how Wittmer’s driving this past season would undoubtedly keep him employed at Chrysler.

      At 1:30 p.m., Kuno Wittmer was out of work.

      That’s when he got the call with the news the rest of us became aware of when the press release hit the wires 15 minutes later: Dodge was pulling the plug on its sports car racing program for 2015 and beyond.

      “Our company has made a business decision to discontinue the SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper GTS-R racing program,” said Ralph Gilles, Senior Vice President of Product Design, Chrysler Group LLC. “We are very proud of the amazing achievements our fantastic teams, drivers and partners have achieved on track the last few seasons.”

      Sound familiar? It should. In August of 2012, in a conference call with reporters, Gilles told us that with a “heavy heart,” the company would not return to NASCAR in 2013 – not in Sprint Cup, the Nationwide series or the Camping World truck series. Then the only full-time Dodge boys, Team Penske, promptly went out and won the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship with driver Brad Keselowski.

      With most manufacturers, the old adage went, “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.” With Dodge it seems to be, “Win the championship on Saturday, cancel the program on Monday.”


      So the Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R 2014 racing season concluded Saturday with the two-car SRT Motorsports team winning the team and driver titles. “SRT Motorsports won two of three championships contested in the class and finished second in the GTLM manufacturer championship in just its second full year of the program,” said today’s press release.

      It did not say, "Now, please clean out your desk and the guard will escort you out," but it could have.


      Did SRT racing die so Vettel could live (at Ferrari)?

      So where does this leave Chrysler’s racing program?


      If you really want to stretch the branches of the company’s family tree, there’s Ferrari in Formula One – is it possible that SRT’s racing program had to die to finance Sebastien Vettel’s salary at Ferrari next year? No, but it’s fun to think about.

      Dodge has not made a decision on whether they will continue to back the rejuvenated Trans-Am series with the Dodge Challenger, but that investment has to be peanuts compared to the TUDOR Championship – which was peanuts compared to NASCAR.

      Nor have they made a call on if, and to what extent, they will support privateer Ben Keating, whose lone Riley-built number 33 Viper team in the TUDOR GT-Daytona series has performed well above expectations, even after his only car burned to the ground at Sebring.

      Keating and his team won the next-to-last race at Circuit of the Americas, a feather in the cowboy hat for Keating, since that is his home track. “I’d like to be back in the series with a Viper next year,” Keating told Motorsport.com, but he needs to see if the numbers add up.


      Unbalance of performance


      That’s two sets of numbers:

      One is money, the other is the series' “Balance of Performance,” which penalizes fast cars with weight, aero or engine restrictions so slow cars can win, too.

      With the only Viper out there – and Keating has heard of no other teams looking to run a Viper in GT-Daytona, especially now – he is afraid, and rightfully so, that he won’t have the lobbying power the Audi, BMW, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ferrari teams have when it comes to whining about BoP. (This could be one reason SRT Motorsports & Dodge left the series)

      With Dodge at least in the GT-Le Mans class with a factory effort, IMSA had to pay attention to the brand.

      Will they if it’s just Ben Keating? “I feel sort of like I might have a target on my back,” he said.

      Money-wise, there was an “economy of scale,” Keating said, in having two other SRT Vipers at the track, with the attendant engineers and parts availability. “Plus,” he said, “they were trying to figure out the same track I was,” and the three teams could share information.

      Now, Keating would be a lone wolf. Or lamb. And frankly, with Dodge not racing, and consequently perhaps not publicizing the Viper, Keating – the world’s largest Viper dealer – can’t be pleased with that.

      Viper sales have been slow anyway, hence the $15,000 price cut the company announced a few weeks ago.

      Bottom line: Keating said he feels as though he has a chance to win, he will probably be back. If he can’t, he won’t.


      Get this!

      Straight line lucks out!

      So the only racing Chrysler will do for sure is in a straight line, as it supports some Dodge NHRA Pro Stock and Funny Car teams, including Matt Hagan, whose Funny Car won last weekend at Maple Grove in Pennsylvania, giving him the points lead.

      Pat Caporali, who handles MOPAR racing publicity, said the company will support its teams for sure next year and probably beyond, and also just signed a multi-year deal to keep sponsoring the Mile-high Nationals in Denver.

      MOPAR, she said, is separate from Dodge and SRT racing programs, and “drag racing reaches MOPAR customers directly,” she said.

      It’s a sad situation for Dodge and Chrysler race fans, and likely no one is more miserable about it than Ralph Gilles, a very fast racer himself, and the man most responsible for the current Viper – which is a splendid car, on and off the track. And I’ve been lucky enough to test-drive plenty of Vipers on the street and track since 1991, and to race in the Viper Challenge series. (Where I once beat Ben Keating! After his car overheated and blew up. He fixed the car and almost lapped me in the next race.) The Viper may well be my favorite car, and I’ve tested thousands of cars since 1984.


      So what really happened?


      Several sources suggest that Tim Kuniskis, president of Dodge and SRT, just isn’t much interested in racing, and that’s what happened to the Viper program. (Tim made the call & killed the program! - The production Viper could be in trouble?)

      What will happen to the Viper itself? I hate to speculate. But if I did, I’d expect some sort of replacement that could be a re-badged Alfa-Romeo at best, a re-bodied Charger/Challenger at worst.


      So what happened to the NASCAR program?
      (NASCAR fans are going to cringe at this! Point the finger to exclusively at Marchionne)

      That came all the way from the Italians at Fiat, including Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne, who reportedly found the Americans “arrogant” about NASCAR, even though Roger Penske was ready to sign for more seasons.

      (That's right folks - the truth is finally out! Sergio is anti-American & is against everything of what he calls American arrogance!!!!!! Now do you want to be a fan of a company that has leaders like this??)

      Penske went to Ford not because he insisted on moving to Ford, but because Chrysler (Marchionne) insisted on not being in NASCAR any longer. Although right now, that move to Ford is looking pretty good.

      Viper didn’t go to the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year because they weren't able to come up with enough sponsorship to cover the expenses, so the Italians at parent company Fiat stamped “cancelled” on the Viper’s passport.

      So the cool Chevrolet Corvette vs. Dodge Viper battle is, once again, history.

      As Kuno Wittmer might say, and did: “It sucks.”

       
    • inkjunkie

      inkjunkie Well-Known Member

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      If they are backing out of all forms of racing got to wonder how long the SRT division is going to be around?
       
    • Hemioutlaw

      Hemioutlaw Well-Known Member

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      Very informative article.
       
    • barbee6043

      barbee6043 barbee 6043 FABO Gold Member

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      very informative!!!! i'm probably like a lot of Mopar people, the Ram is the only vehicle these guys offer!!! otherwise, a Mopar was a car built 50 years AGO!! LOL
       
    • WRB426

      WRB426 Insane 4 Mopars FABO Gold Member

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      I thought it was funny how Dodge sponsored a NASCAR race a couple of weeks ago.

      Another reason never be loyal to big business.
       
    • teringer

      teringer ase master hall of fame

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      fiat is losing big dollars overseas the Chrysler corp is now there cash cow.and yes they will compete overseas with a fiat backed team.
       
    • 383Scampman

      383Scampman Well-Known Member

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      Here we go again Mopar fans. Screwed again by Mother Mopar. Mopar has pulled it,s name from the Mopar Nationals, abandoned NASCAR, and out of road racing. Mopar gives limited help in NHRA Pro Stock and Nitro Funny car. Going to Mopar Performance is no better. Prices are stupid high. I have been a Mopar fan since 1978 and I have never felt as if I was welcome by anything Chrysler put forward. Why does a small block Mopar cost twice as much to build as a small Ford/Chevy? Why does a Duster fender cost more than a Nova? In 1985 I tryed to get a dealership to sell Direct Connection Parts. M.P. wanted $10k per month sales and $50k equity. NOT very friendly. If I live long enough to have another project, it will be a Chevy. I,ve had it with Mopar!
       
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