For Immediate Release
RILEY & SCOTT TAKES FIRST IRL CHASSIS ORDER, PLAN COMPETITION DEBUT IN LONGHORN 500 JUNE 7
INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 23, 1996 -- Indianapolis race car manufacturer Riley & Scott took its first order today for the new Riley & Scott Mk V IRL, an Indy Racing League chassis to begin competing June 7, 1997, at the inaugural Longhorn 500 at Texas International Raceway.
The three-car order was placed by Kelley Automotive Group of Ft. Wayne, Ind. Tom Kelley, president of the group, presented a check for $660,000 to Bob Riley, Bill Riley and Mark Scott during the announcement Wednesday morning at the Hall of Fame Museum at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Also present were Tony George, president of Speedway and founder of the IRL, and IRL executive director Jack Long.
Riley & Scott announced its intention to build an IRL chassis last April alongside manufacturers G-Force of Britain and Dallara Automobili of Italy. At that time, Riley & Scott said their IRL constructor program would begin after the 1997 Indianapolis 500. In that same conference, IRL manufacturer cost parameters were announced of $220,000 per chassis, $47,000 for gearbox and fuel cell, and $75,000 per engine.
G-Force and Dallara cars will compete beginning Jan. 25, 1997, at the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World when the IRL introduces its new competition formula. Powering the new cars will be the new 4.0-liter V-8 normally-aspirated production-based engines, the Aurora V-8 and the Infiniti Indy.
Kelley, whose then-company GT&T was the North American distributor for March racing cars in 1985-87, returns to the Indianapolis racing arena after a nine-year hiatus. Kelley Automotive Group, founded by Tom's father Jim, today consists of 12 car dealerships in four states. A racer at heart, Kelley raced a P-51 Mustang aircraft from 1978 to 1986 and raced in the prestigious Reno Air Races in 1984-85-86. Jim promoted the Fort Wayne air races at Baer Field in the late 1950s.
Kelley's re-involvement now with auto racing provides Riley & Scott with the funding necessary to get the new IRL chassis off the drawing board and onto the race track. Kelley is keeping his options open regarding how extensive his new involvement will be.
"I absolutely believe the Indy Racing League is a positive force for auto racing and the right way for open wheel racing to grow and thrive in the future," Kelley said. "My interest today is to see a competitive race car built in this country. Whether or not we form a team -- and honestly it is too early for us to talk about that -- it is important for Riley & Scott to begin production of this race car. I want to see them succeed, and I believe they will."
Riley & Scott, Inc., enters IRL competition following a successful World Sports Car season that saw the Gasoline Alley constructor win the WSC constructor and driver championships. Also successful as a Trans- Am car builder, the six-year-old company is ready for the next step.
"This is a really huge landmark for us," commented general manager Mark Scott. "This is why we formed the company, to build an Indianapolis car. The IRL created the opportunity, and Tom (Kelley) has become the catalyst. The car design is nearly complete, and we are ready to build it."