1999 Chrysler Viper GTS-R Pilots: O. Beretta, K. Wendlinger, D. Dupuy Team: Viper Team ORECA Race: 10th overall (1st GTS class) at Le Mans in 1999 Minichamps - 430991451 (diecast)
Chrysler Viper GTS-R #55 (07/17/17):
First seen in 1996, the GTS-R was a successful racing variant of the Dodge Viper and developed as an international joint venture. French Oreca would construct and maintain the racing cars in their shops, the car’s basic chassis and other integral parts would be the responsibility of British engineering firm Reynard Motorsport and the engine would come from USA’s Chrysler. The car body was heavily based on the Viper GTS of 1995, and the engine was basically the same 356-T6 unit of the passenger car. The 356-T6 engine was a huge 7998 cm³ naturally-aspirated V10 with aluminum alloy block and head and with 20 valves, capable of frightening 620 hp of power.
After winning the GT2 class at Le Mans in 1998, ORECA was back at La Sarthe for 1999. But this time their Vipers were in the GTS class. The team had three cars in the race, and managed 1st (#51) and 3rd (#52) places in the GTS class. Interestingly, the Vipers were the only cars in the GTS class fitted with carbon brakes.
The Viper is an old release by Minichamps, and consequently they really can’t compete against the brand’s more current offerings. It’s an okay model in general, but I don’t think it’s even “Ixo good”. In my eyes the big issue here are the decals. Minichamps has a history of decals getting bad with time, and I think this GTS-R #51 will be another victim. You can’t notice in the pics, but on inspection you will see that decals are starting to yellow. Shame, because it’s a very nifty car. And also or even more important, a gift from The One That Will Bring My Ruin (aka Stinky Gary).