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LMP3 Champion Robinson to Continue with Riley, Fraga

Robinson, Fraga to tackle LMP3 campaign next year; Van Berlo and Cooper in for Daytona…

Image: Riley Motorsports

Gar Robinson will seek to defend his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship LMP3 title with Riley Motorsports, sharing a Ligier JS P320 Nissan with Felipe Fraga.

Riley has announced that its No. 74 Ligier JS P320 Nissan will continue in the series next year, with Robinson returning alongside Fraga who was his primary co-driver in 2021.

Fraga missed the opening two races of the season but plans to tackle the full LMP3 campaign this time around.

Their driving partners for the Rolex 24 at Daytona season-opener will be Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by The Cayman Islands runner-up Kay van Berlo and multiple SRO America title winner Michael Cooper.

Riley has yet to determine the additional driver to join Robinson and Fraga for the other Michelin Endurance Cup races.

The team heads into the new season as the reigning LMP3 champion and the defending Rolex 24 class winner, courtesy of Robinson, Spencer Pigot, Oliver Askew and Scott Andrews taking victory in January.

“It’s great to continue the momentum of 2021 as prepare for 2022,” said team principal Bill Riley.

“We are ready, and the two new drivers are pretty quick! Working with the Robinsons is always great, it makes racing and winning easier.”

Robinson and Fraga won four races together during the first season for LMP3 in the WeatherTech Championship, while Robinson took five in total with his Rolex 24 accolade factored in. Daytona only counts points for the Endurance Cup in the LMP3 class.

“I am incredibly proud to call Riley Motorsports my team, in reality it’s more of a family,” said Robinson upon news of the program’s renewal for a title defense.

“This will be my third season with the team and every year it keeps getting better.

“I can’t wait to get started, we have a new line-up for Daytona and I am so excited to be racing with this group of guys. I have confidence in my team and co-drivers to pick up right where we left off.”

Daytona will mark the first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races for both van Berlo and Cooper.

Van Berlo finished second in the Carrera Cup North America standings to Sebastian Priaulx and was subsequently selected to take part in Porsche’s Junior driver shootout.

The Dutchman has prior LMP3 experience, having represented United Autosports in the Asian Le Mans Series a couple of years ago.

Cooper, meanwhile, drove a DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo in Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS this year, off the back of winning the 2020 Pirelli GT4 America title with McLaren outfit Blackdog Speed Shop.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be joining Riley Motorsports in the 74 Ranch Resort car,” said Cooper, who has never raced in LMP3 before.

“After familiarizing myself with the team over the last few weeks it’s very apparent why they are so successful in every category they compete in.

“I love the mentality the whole group brings to the racetrack, you can tell they just want to win as much as anyone and that is why I go racing too.”

Van Berlo added: “I am super excited to join Riley Motorsports and 74 Ranch Resort for my Rolex 24 at Daytona debut.

“It has been a longtime dream for me to compete in this historical endurance classic.

“Having the opportunity to do so with such an experienced and accomplished team like Riley Motorsports makes it even better. I am confident in our abilities to fight for the top step.

“Gar and Felipe already showed their pace by their 2021 season and Michael is well known for his achievements in GT racing. I can’t wait to get started.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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