Take a ride with American Le Mans driver

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on September 21, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Updated Saturday, Sep 21 at 9:53 AM

EL ROY -- It’s International Sports Car Weekend out at Circuit of the Americas. It incorporates several races, including the NASCAR-owned American Le Mans series, which races across the U.S.

Sunday’s race is the six-hour World Endurance Championships, which is governed by FIA, the same body that governers Formula One. It races internationally.

KVUE took a ride with American Le Mans racer Jonathan Bomarito this week before his Friday qualifiers.

He showed us the street Viper his racing #93 Viper is based on. One surprise, was that the showroom version of the SRT Viper, has 640 horsepower, more than than the one he races. “If we just implemented that engine and horsepower right into the series, we would be way too fast,” said Bomarito. The race version is tuned down to about 500 horsepower.

The competing cars are balance to keep them in an even playing field. “Which makes it exciting racing for the fans. It's very close, hard nose, really driver-dependent,” Bomarito said.

Austin is the 8th round of the Le Mans series, in it’s first year at COTA. Next year, the American Le Mans Series will merge with Grand Am Road racing, both owner by NASCAR. You’ll see both back at COTA then under the new title, The United Sports Car Championship.

On Friday, Jonathan qualified sixth in the GT class. The race is Saturday.

Click here for this weekend's schedule.

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