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Riley Prototypes Back on Track After Suspension Issues

New suspension parts installed on Mazda, Visit Florida Rileys…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

All three Riley-chassied prototypes are set to return to action at Daytona on Saturday, following new suspension parts having been made overnight, which has been among the setbacks faced for the Mazda Motorsports and Visit Florida Racing teams at the Roar Before the 24.

The No. 70 Mazda RT24-P sustained suspension failure in Friday afternoon’s session, prompting a new clevis assembly to be machined, according to Riley Technologies President Bill Riley.

“Luckily Troy Flis saved the day and found a machine shop and made some parts,” Riley told Sportscar365. “We had a machine shop work overnight to make his parts, so they’re being put on the cars now.

“It was the right thing to do.”

The component, which is attached to the tub, is considered to be a safety-related update. Riley said he doesn’t expect it to be an issue with the car’s homologation.

Both the Visit Florida and Mazda teams have worked together to produce the update.

“What we all agreed on is that anything related to safety is our number one concern,” Mazda Motorsports Director John Doonan told Sportscar365.

“So we’re going to make sure that if something goes, we share among each other.

“The pieces are getting installed and they look fantastic… I’d just like to get more running.”

Doonan said the electrical issue that saw the No. 55 Mazda stop on track in the afternoon, was simply the master switch being tripped off.

Visit Florida Racing team principal Troy Flis, who was seen installing the new part on his Riley Mk. 30 Gibson, said they’ve been primarily battling gearbox cooling issues.

The car completed only 24 laps on Friday, with Renger van der Zande and Rene Rast yet to to turn laps.

“The electronics and that have been the biggest thing but the electronics are starting to come around,” Flis told Sportscar365.

“It’s now more about just getting more laps in the car and getting a full fuel run and knowing that we’re well within the window.

“With this being a new car and trying to stay as homologated as possible, we’re still learning.

“The car drives well. I don’t think we’re miles away there, it’s just more about the mechanics and getting more time.”

Despite being competitors on the track, Flis has been complementary of the SpeedSource-run Mazda squad as well, with the two teams working through the kinks of the first Multimatic-Riley LMP2 chassis.

“The availability of parts is very few and far between,” he said. “But we’re working with the Mazda guys and helping each other out with that stuff, especially with the mechanical and safety stuff we both have, I think it’s good that we’re sharing resources.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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