Chrysler Viper GTS-R #51 – Minichamps

GTS-R
2000 Chrysler Viper GTS-R #51
Pilots: O. Beretta, K. Wendlinger, D. Dupuy 
Team: Sté. Viper Team ORECA
Race: 7th overall (1st in GTS) at Le Mans in 2000
Minichamps - 430001451 (diecast)

Published 01/14/22

Hugues de Chaunac founded ORECA (Organisation Exploitation Compétition Automobiles) in 1973. Starting out with single-seaters, in 1977 they arrived at La Sarthe, in a partnership with Toyota. From then on they competed in almost every class of car racing, from GT to rally to endurance. In 1998 they were back at Le Mans, with three Chrysler Viper GTS-R. Car #53 came in first place in the GT2 class. The following year they were back, again with three cars. And they did it again: car #51 came in first place in the GT2 class. With the good results, for the last 24 Heures du Mans of the millennium, ORECA stuck to the winning formula. In June of 2000 they arrived at La Sarthe with a team of three Vipers. This time however, gone was the red, white and blue livery. The cars were all red with go-fast white stripes.

GTS-R
Playstation was a big sponsor to the GTS-R – the car appeared a LOT in their racing games.

The Viper GTS-R was the racing variant of the Dodge Viper. The project of the car was a joint-venture between Chrysler, ORECA and Reynard Motorsport. The first prototype was ready in 1996, and consisted of an unitary steel space frame covered by a carbon fiber body. And of course, a huge engine at the front. Powering the GTS-R was a 7995 cm³ (!) naturally aspirated V10, delivering up to 750 hp and 95,4 mkgf of torque. Car #51 (chassis #C31) here was one of the three GTS-R that ORECA had at La Sarthe in 2000. On June 19th it finished in seventh place overall and first place in the GTS class. As a side note, chassis #C31 is the most successful Viper GTS-R. Not only did it win at Le Mans, it also won at Sebring and scored six class wins in the 2000 American Le Mans Series.

Oh yes, I need the winning 1999 car.

Minichamps is a brand that became sparse here at W-143 nowadays. Not that I don’t like their models, however lately they are not releasing many Le Mans cars. While Spark churns out Le Mans cars non-stop, Minichamps seems to be dedicating their production to passenger cars. And F1. Therefore, I can only find old releases from them, like this one. With that, detail level is subpar compared to current Spark offerings. And as always, the worst aspect on these old models are the decals. On this GTS-R the decals are okay (just okay), though better in fact than on my 1999 #51. So if you fancy these models, always check the decals before buying. BIG chance they’ll be in bad shape 😥.

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