Three class wins possible for fabled manufacturer as new IMSA era launches on Saturday
Daytona Beach, Fla. (23 January 2014) - The 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona will be a race for the history books, and for Riley Technologies, it could well be a race for the record books as the firm pursues a tenth consecutive overall victory.
The Rolex 24 At Daytona marks the first-ever race staged by the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship following the off-season merger of the American Le Mans Series and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. There are four classes set to take to the high banks this Saturday, and the Mooresville, North Carolina-based firm has products competing in three of the four classes in the classic endurance challenge.
Since that first champagne-soaked slow roll into Daytona’s victory lane in 2005, Riley Technologies has won the event overall every year.
This remarkable performance has been consistent even through three different generations of Daytona Prototype regulations, as the DP from the Bob Riley-led design team has amassed 92 victories and ten consecutive Manufacturer Championships. The 2014 race will see a fourth iteration of regulations for the Daytona Prototypes that should produce even more speed.
Six entries from five teams (Chip Ganassi Racing, Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racings, Starworks Motorsport, and Highway to Help) will all utilize Riley Technologies design in their pursuit of the Rolex pyramid trophy. With a strong stable of familiar and well-prepared customer teams, Riley could once again take the top spot on Sunday afternoon.
But all the attention won’t just be on the top of the scoring pylon for Riley Technologies, as the firm also serves as a partner with SRT Motorsports, and will do battle in the top GT Class (“GTLM”) with the impressive SRT Viper GTS-R. The 2014 Rolex marks the first chapter in a titanic GTLM battle that will wage from Daytona to Long Beach to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The No. 91 SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-R will be shared by Domink Farnbacher, Marc Goossens, and Ryan Hunter-Reay, while the No. 93 SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-R will see Robert Bell, Jonathan Bomarito, and Kuno Wittmer serve as co-drivers as the factory effort continues to impress. Since making a debut late in the 2012 season, the SRT Motorsports effort broke through for a victory in 2013 and continues to gather momentum in the highly contested class.
The 2014 edition of the 24 will also mark the competition debut for the all-new Riley Technologies SRT Viper GT3-R. The machine will compete in the GT Daytona (“GTD”) class, which boasts 29 entries for the 2014 IMSA opener.
As has often been the case with Riley Technologies designs, the all new GT3-R has attracted international interest, and the driving line up reflects that as the No. 33 Viper Exchange-liveried SRT Viper GT3-R will be co-driven by Ben Keating (US), Jeroen Bleekmolen (Monaco), Sebastiaan Bleekmolen (Netherlands), and Emmanuel Collard (France), who was part of the driving line up that took the 2005 overall victory with Suntrust.
“The Rolex 24 is always an exciting event, but with a new championship and so much on the line, this is unlike any 24 I can ever remember and it should be great for the fans,” said Riley Technologies Vice-President Bill Riley. “For us as a company, it is a really big weekend and is the result of a lot of planning and hard work from everyone. I think it reflects on the depth of talent at Riley Technologies that we have designs that are competitive in three completely different classes. As always, our customer teams are key to our success and we will be doing everything we can to support them this weekend and all year long. Hopefully we can start the new IMSA era with a very big weekend here at Daytona.”