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Starworks Rules Out Riley-Gibson LMP2 for Daytona

Peter Baron rules out Riley LMP2 for Daytona, PC program in question…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Starworks Motorsport has ruled out running a Riley Mk. 30 Gibson in next month’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, with the Peter Baron-led squad yet to finalize a full-season program, in any class, for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The 2016 Prototype Challenge championship-winning squad could be left with a Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup-only effort with up to two of its Oreca FLM09s, according to Baron.

Starworks was the first team to announce plans of competing in the new-look Prototype class next year.

Baron said the decision to put its planned Riley-Gibson LMP2 program on hold came last week, after funding failed to materialize.

“About a week ago, it became impossible to do it right,” he told Sportscar365. “They have a chassis they’re building that would be available but it’s not ‘our’ chassis.

“So it’s just kind of sitting there, spinning out wheels a bit.

Baron, who said he still has a deposit on a Multimatic-Riley LMP2 chassis, said the delay will give his Florida-based team additional time to see the new-for-2017 car being validated on-track.

He said they expect to eventually move into the LMP2 ranks, with PC being in its final year in 2017, but have not set a definite timeframe.

“The nice thing is we get to see what happens now,” Baron said.

“It will be interesting to see how it goes, and even at Sebring. One nice thing is that it buys us some time to see how the Riley performs.”

While options in Europe are also being explored for the Riley LMP2 car, Baron admitted he doesn’t yet have a full-season WeatherTech Championship commitment for either of his PC entries.

He said he remains confident of having two cars for Daytona, with one driver lineup already confirmed, but not yet announced.

“It’s not the world’s best year for selling a PC program,” Baron said.

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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