Riley Motorsports will revert to its spare Mercedes-AMG GT3 chassis for this weekend’s Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park following an early race-ending exit from the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
The Wynn’s-sponsored No. 33 car was severely damaged in the opening lap accident in the Esses, which was triggered by contact between the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Laurens Vanthoor and the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Tommy Milner, who spun across the track before getting collected by Ben Keating.
It marked the end of the day for Keating and co-drivers Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga and the quick decision by the Bill Riley-led crew to begin the rebuild the car around its spare chassis that it had on the truck.
“I think it was the way it caught the rear of the car [that caused the damage],” Riley told Sportscar365. “We probably could have fixed the car and ran it at Mosport possibly but we’ve felt more safe just doing the whole thing.”
Work began building up the ex-WeatherTech-owned chassis during the race, per IMSA’s specific guidelines for spare chassis.
“IMSA has rules on how backup cars can be,” Riley explained. “So it’s a complete car but it doesn’t have suspension, gearbox or body.
“So we’re building up the gearbox to what spec we want for Mosport and putting on all of the suspension [components].
“This car has been in the trailer since Daytona so now we have to reconfigure it, like what side the fueling is on and things like that and get it ready that way.”
Despite the tight turnaround time to CTMP, Riley said he doesn’t expect any delays.
“Having all day [Sunday], unfortunately, to work on it, we’ll have it running by Monday night and then leave Wednesday morning for Mosport,” he said.
No. 4 Corvette Repairable for This Weekend
For the second consecutive race, Corvette Racing is facing a significant rebuild for its No. 4 car, although this time, a spare chassis will not be needed.
Team manager Ben Johnson told Sportscar365 they should have repairs completed by Monday night at Watkins Glen before making the trip North of the Border.
As was the case with the Riley mechanics, work began on the damaged No. 4 car during the race itself, with the crew initially targeting for it to return near the end the race for a systems check. Prospects of that, however, diminished once the extent of the damage was determined.
“At least we don’t have to [work on it] overnight,” Johnson said. “We can take our time and make sure it’s done right. We’ll be back at it at Mosport.”
Milner’s race-ending accident continued the No. 4 crew’s string of bad luck, dating back to the start of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
“They’ve had a rough go of it,” Johnson said. “I don’t think it was any fault of the drivers or any fault of the team.
“It’s the unfortunate bit of motorsports. A little bit of wheel action in the Esses and it’s always pretty dicey and to be taken out in the first lap is unfortunate for sure.”