The Ave-Riley AR-2 will not make its race debut until early next year, following a decision to delay the LMP3 car’s homologation in order to evaluate further aero developments.
The American-built LMP3 car, which was slated to debut in this year’s European Le Mans Series with Murphy Prototypes, is on now on track to be ready for the 2017 IMSA and ELMS seasons, according to project leader Tony Ave.
“I’ve sold enough of them now, that I’m better off letting the guys that bought them test this one. It keeps me over here so we can get them done in time for March,” Ave told Sportscar365.
Ave said he’s already sold six cars, with the first completed chassis, which took part in a multi-day test at the Red Bull Ring in July, on display in the paddock at Circuit of The Americas this weekend.
A testing and development program is planned for the next 45 days, which will see the final configuration of the car locked down, prior to the ACO’s final inspection, which Ave said is scheduled for December.
Ave said 80 percent of the car is already complete, but with four areas that need to be finalized and approved for homologation.
“We haven’t run the final homologation because Bob [Riley] has a different splitter he wants to try now, based upon something with the P2 car,” he said.
“That’s kind of why we stalled the European thing. We learned some things from the [Multimatic-Riley] P2 that could apply so we’ll test that before we homologate.”
Ave said the interest level for the car in the newly restructured IMSA Prototype Challenge series has been high and he aims to have multiple cars competing in the championship next year.
“I wish they had put [LMP3 cars] in the WeatherTech Championship but it’s better than nothing,” he said.
“There’s a lot of interest, and talking to the other manufacturers, there’s quite a bit of interest from them too, for PC1.
“I think the class will be pretty popular. I think you’ll see a total of 10 cars [in the entire class] to begin with. And it will depend on it intermixes with the little cars.”
Outside of North America, Ave indicated that Murphy Prototypes plans to run at least one AR-2 in the ELMS next year, while he’s also in discussions with the team to become the European distributor of the car.