Daytona Beach, Fla. (10 November 2016) – The anticipation continues to grow ahead of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, which will open the next era in Prototype competition with all-new regulations for the top Prototype class. When the green flag flies for the 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 28-29, VISIT FLORIDA Racing will have a brand-new look.
The Daytona Beach, Florida-based team is pleased to announce that VISIT FLORIDA Racing will launch the 2017 IMSA season with a Gibson-powered Riley Technologies MK XXX.
Though the car will be brand new to VISIT FLORIDA Racing, the livery will remain much the same for fans of the ‘Boys in Blue’ as VISIT FLORIDA returns to the team as primary partner for the fifth consecutive year.
Key to the team’s 2017 campaign is the support of VISIT FLORIDA, which has leveraged its partnership with the team to help contribute to the record-setting growth of the Florida tourism industry. The state welcomed 106.3 million visitors in 2015, and is carrying significant momentum with growth that could see that number continue to grow.
“VISIT FLORIDA is thrilled to be partnered with this team, and there is a lot of excitement about what is to come in 2017 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with an all-new DPi class,” said Paul Phipps, VISIT FLORIDA Chief Marketing Officer. “Motorsports is a huge attraction, and brings visitors from around the world to Florida every year. It is always exciting when the Rolex 24 At Daytona kicks off a new race season, and next year’s will be even more so as IMSA launches this new class.”
Riley Technologies has an unparalleled history in the sport, and the Rolex 24 At Daytona will mark the competition debut for the MK XXX. VISIT FLORIDA Racing delivered a breakthrough win for the Corvette DP with a run to the checkered flag at Barber Motorsports Park in 2012, and will look to write another winning chapter with Riley in January.
The Gibson engine is a normally-aspirated 4.2-liter V8, and is the specification engine for all competitors in the World Endurance Championship LMP2 category and has also been approved for IMSA competition.
“I’m really happy to have these big elements of our program finalized,” said VISIT FLORIDA Racing Team Owner Troy Flis. “We did our homework about all the options, and we are very excited to be going this direction. Bill and Bob Riley have an incredible record of success, and the partnership they’ve established with Multimatic for this project only adds to what they are capable of. Having the Gibson and the WEC bodywork means that we’ve got a lot of options as this class comes to fruition and starts to develop. This is an exciting time for everyone in IMSA, and we are very happy to be this much closer to the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona.”
Riley dominated the Daytona Prototype era with 10 consecutive GRAND-AM manufacturer championships and nearly 100 victories including nine consecutive Rolex 24 At Daytona victories. The Riley Technologies record of success also includes race-winning designs in IndyCar, Trans-Am, American Le Mans Series, and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competition. The 2017 IMSA Prototype effort sees Riley Technologies partner with Multimatic for the production and design of the all-new prototype.
“We are happy to have VISIT FLORIDA Racing make this commitment,” said Riley Technologies Vice President Bill Riley. “Troy (Flis, VISIT FLORIDA Racing team owner) has done a great job building his team and we hope to be a big part of what they accomplish in the future. Our customers expect us to deliver not only fast and dependable cars, but also a high level of at-track service and support. So it is a big vote of confidence in what we are capable of to have a team like VISIT FLORIDA Racing come on board with us.”
Ahead of the expected December delivery for the chassis, VISIT FLORIDA Racing is working on the extensive preparations that moving from DP to LMP2 machinery will require as the team prepares for the next chapter of IMSA history.