* Dodge vehicles to support high profile motor racing championships
* Appointment coincides with expansion of Dodge vehicles into Europe
* Nine Dodge Viper Coupes ready for the challenge
London, May 9, 2006 –
Coinciding with the introduction of its vehicles in Europe, the Dodge brand has been appointed ‘Official Cars Supplier’ to the FIA GT and FIA GT3 European Championships for 2006. These international Championships showcase race-prepared versions of the world’s most powerful and desirable supercars, providing spectacular racing and entertainment.
Dodge will provide a fleet of six vehicles for use on and off the race circuit at each round of the FIA GT and FIA GT3 Championships during the coming season, which starts on May 6 and 7 with the ‘Silverstone Supercar Showdown’ in England.
The Dodge fleet will consist of an ‘Official Safety Car,’ an ‘Official Pace Car,’ one ‘Official Medical Car’ and three additional Dodge vehicles that will serve as VIP and media shuttles during the series.
As well as providing this fleet of ‘official vehicles,’ Dodge cars will also feature prominently in the track action, as nine of the 78 entries contesting the new-for-2006 FIA GT3 European Championship are Dodge Viper Competition Coupes run by French and Italian race teams. Cars from eight other prestigious manufacturers will ensure that this new race series delivers closely fought racing and a real supercar extravaganza for the fans. Two FIA GT3 races will support selected round of the FIA GT championship.
“The Dodge brand has an historic affinity with motorsports and a series like this complements many of the attributes of the brand, such as bold design, capability and affordable power,” said Stéphane Labous, Director – International Marketing and Communications, Chrysler Group. “So, this is a natural tie-in for the Dodge brand and we are delighted to be appointed as official cars supplier to this exciting racing series.”
Commenting on the agreement, Stephane Ratel, Chairman of SRO, the race series promoter, said: “I’m thrilled that SRO and Dodge have entered into this agreement to supply the official cars for the 2006 season of the FIA GT and FIA GT3 European Championships. Over the years, Dodge cars have played a major role in the FIA GT series, with the Viper winning five Championships between 1997 and 2002, as well as two editions of the Proximus 24 Hours of Spa. In 2006, a new era of Dodge participation is just starting, with nine Dodge Viper Competition Coupe cars entering the all-new FIA GT3 European Championship, making this collaboration particularly relevant and timely.”
Following the opening race weekend at Silverstone on May 6 and 7, the FIA GT 10-race series will visit seven countries during the season, including: Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Romania and the United Arab Emirates. The FIA GT3 European Championship will support FIA GT in the following four countries: Germany, Belgium, France (Dijon) and Italy (Mugello).
Dodge Global Expansion
The arrival of the new Dodge Caliber in Europe in the second quarter of this year marks the Dodge brand’s expansion in volume markets outside of North America. Caliber offers an alternative in the C segment by combining high value with bold styling and a flexible interior. It is designed to appeal to buyers around the world who want Dodge attitude, packaged with the capability and versatility of a sport-utility vehicle and the affordability and fuel efficiency of a compact car.
A hint at the exciting Dodge models following Caliber into international markets was provided by the performance-oriented Dodge Caliber SRT4 and Dodge Nitro mid-size SUV which had their European premieres at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.
Dodge sold almost 1.2 million vehicles in the US in 2005 and is the fifth largest nameplate in the United States.
SRO Motorsports Group
The FIA GT Championship is the international race series for the world’s most desirable supercars. GT racecars can churn out over 600BHP and are capable of top speeds in excess of 320Km/h; they compete in endurance races, including spectacular 3-hour and stamina sapping 24-hour formats. In 2006 the FIA GT Championship will visit 8 countries featuring 10 race events. The racing will have a TV reach of over 750 million homes.
The FIA GT3 European Championship is a new concept for 2006. Founded upon a more economical way with which to enter top-flight GT racing while retaining the qualities of using spectacular supercar machinery and the finest race circuits, FIA GT3 allows very little race modification to the racecars and uses a controlled tire supplier. In 2006, nine prestige marques are competing in this five event (ten race) Championship.
In addition to the FIA GT and the FIA GT3 European Championships, SRO also promotes the UK national series’ of British F3 and British GT and, the leading French national series, the French FFSA GT Championship.
Visit the official FIA GT and FIA GT3 European Championship Web sites at http://www.fiagt.com or for the latest news and information.