Tony Ave is a veteran racer whose aspirations have taken him into a new and unique venture.
There was a time when race car drivers knew exactly what went into their cars because they built them. Those days are gone, for the most part but there are still some throwbacks out there that need to build the cars they race and race the cars they build.
A perfect pair
One of those guys is Tony Ave, who just announced another collaboration with Riley Technologies. With both Ave and Riley based in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, it’s a match made in zip and area codes.\
After going through the rules and having the car start to transform from design into reality, I think the ACO hit their marks for a great car.
Bill Riley on LMP3 cars
Tony Ave has driven in Grand-Am, Formula Atlantic, Indy Lights (and Indy Pro when it had that name), as well as in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. More recently he’s been a part of the Trans-Am Series, building, racing and winning with AR-1 Trans-Am cars that have been fashioned by Ave and Riley Technologies.
Now these two collaborators are working on a new LM P3 prototype coupe for Auto Club de l’Ouest (ACO) competition. The AR-2 (Ave Riley-2) will have its first presentation at this week’s Autosport International show at Birmingham, UK, arguably one of the more important racing shows of the year. Riley Technologies’ Mike Croake will be on-site to rep the AR-2 program. Ave lauded the “great interaction between our two companies over the long haul” when he announced the new project.
Excited about new venture
“When the ACO announced the LMP3, we were very excited,” Bill Riley noted. “After going through the rules and having the car start to transform from design into reality, I think the ACO hit their marks for a great car. The concept design and engineering is being headed up by Bob Riley with Garrett Brady taking the lead on the mechanical design and body,” he said.
Ave is “looking forward to my next project working with Riley-designed cars. The relationship has been the foundation of Ave Motorsports from the beginning, during the Oldsmobile Pro Series days, through the resurgence of Trans Am (where we have won four of the last five championships and have produced 17 customer cars in recent years).”
How the partnership will work
As Riley’s group works on the design of this new LM P3 coupe, Tony and his staff are preparing to begin construction of the coupes within the coming weeks. “We have been looking at opportunities to expand out of the tube-frame GT car business into some carbon-tub sports car manufacturing,” Ave said. “I have such familiarity and confidence in Riley designs, not to mention success both driving them and distributing them, so the LM P3 project seems like a natural to us.”
This new category debuts with the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and Asian Le Mans Series (Asian LMS) in 2015. The AR-2 is also a competitive solution for several North American series this year, including National Auto Sports Association (NASA) Super Unlimited and SCCA SPO (Super Production Open) classes. The AR-2 can also be used for premium track day testing.
The AR-2 features a carbon fiber chassis with steel roll cage, side radiators to cool a Nissan 5-liter V-8 capable of between 420-440 horsepower. An Xtrac 6-speed sequential gearbox has paddle shift by Megaline. Suspension is pushrod front and rear and has JRI adjustable dampers. Hydraulic power steering and Alcon 6-piston calipers are part of the package, as is a Magneti Marelli data system and steering wheel-mounted display. Options include Staubli 45 single point refueling, wheel travel sensors, cockpit air conditioning (which is mandatory for ACO competition), tire pressure monitoring and testing data system with load cells and laser ride height sensors.
Racers are encouraged to contact Tony Ave directly at Ave Motorsports: 828-428-4760 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the new AR-2 LM P3 coupe.