Visit Florida Racing has confirmed that it will start its 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign with a Riley Mk. 30 Gibson LMP2 car.
The Troy Flis-led squad had been in discussions with a number of manufacturers, including AMG, Ford and most recently Mazda, for DPi engine and bodywork packages, although opting with a global-spec LMP2 car, at least for the start of the season.
Visit Florida, meanwhile, will return to the team as the primary sponsor for the fifth consecutive year, while its driver lineup has yet to be officially announced.
“I’m really happy to have these big elements of our program finalized,” Flis said. “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.”
The team expects to take delivery of the car in December, ahead of a testing program in the build up to January’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.
“Troy has done a great job building his team and we hope to be a big part of what they accomplish in the future,” said Riley Technologies President Bill Riley.
“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.”
While drivers have yet to be announced, it’s understood reigning Prototype Challenge champion Renger van der Zande has been signed for a full-season campaign, possibly alongside Riley development driver Marc Goossens, who could return for a second season with the team.
It’s believed the team could switch to Mazda engines and bodywork later in the year, although the Japanese manufacturer has not yet established a customer program for its soon-to-be-announced DPi program.
The global-spec Riley-Gibson LMP2 car does, however, give the team the option of entering the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which has been in the works in recent months.