SEBRING, Fla. (Nov. 16, 2013) – The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship took to the track with its first open test on Saturday, with 19 teams taking to Sebring International Raceway for an all-day test session. 
Jeroen Bleekemolen got behind the wheel of the new No. 33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GT3-R for the first time on Saturday at Sebring, and quickly got up to speed in the new entry he will co-drive with Ben Keating in the TUDOR Championship GTD class.
“It’s really nice to be involved with the car from the start,” said Bleekemolen, the 2013 ALMS GTC class champion and class winner of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida. “I’ve raced in many cars that have been already developed, and it’s great to be involved in a program to help develop a car and make it better. We ran pretty much trouble free today, which is good starting out with a new car.”
The new Viper shares paddock space with the No. 93 SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R that competes as part of a two-car GTLM factory-backed squad. While they are different teams, Bill Riley oversees both efforts.
“The two cars will be separated on pit lane, but in the shop, we’ll work together,” Riley said. “Obviously, our goal is to have the Vipers on top in both classes.”
While Magnus Racing concentrated on the Rolex Series throughout its four-year history, both team drivers John Potter and Andy Lally have plenty of experience at Sebring.
‘I’ve run about 15 Skip Barber races, a number of test days and the 12 Hours,” Potter said. “In fact, I probably have more laps here than some of the tracks we raced in Rolex. “Of my five ALMS races, the 12 Hours was the only one that I didn’t finish on the podium. That was tough, because we were leading after half-way but lost our radiator after contact with a prototype.”
Lally finished second and third in the 12 Hours, taking second overall with Dyson Racing behind Team Penske in the 2008 event.
“Other tracks look nicer and are more modernized, but Sebring is a track that races very well,” Lally said. “It’s extremely challenging on many different levels. As a driver, you’re constantly challenged to be both fast and smooth. For the teams, they’ve got to make the car as strong as possible.”
Magnus Racing won the inaugural North American Endurance Championship in 2012 – bookended with victories in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Indianapolis – and finished second in the 2013 GT standings.