Riley Motorsports is poised to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a Ferrari 488 GTE Evo program in the GTE-Pro class.
Sportscar365 has learned that the veteran IMSA squad, which received an automatic invite for Gar Robinson’s LMP3 class championship last year, is planning to use the entry for an all-pro driver lineup in the top production-based class.
Team principal Bill Riley explained that it has opted for a Ferrari due to an existing relationship in fielding a team in Ferrari Challenge North America.
“We received an award for all of the hard work that us and the Robinson’s did to win the LMP3 championship,” Riley told Sportscar365.
“I think this year the third allocation for an automatic entry from IMSA will be going to Riley Motorsports.
“We plan on going there with a Ferrari. We’re working out through the details now and we’ll have a formal announcement soon.”
Riley confirmed that the car will feature an all-pro driver lineup that’s in the process of being finalized.
It will mark the team’s first Le Mans GTE-Pro program since operating the factory Dodge Viper GTS-Rs in 2013. The team has since been represented in the GTE-Am and LMP2 classes through customer Ben Keating.
“When you look at going in the Pro class vs. Am it’s hard when you’re in the Am class,” Riley explained.
“If you’re going to go there to win it, you have to find a ‘super’ Bronze, you have to find a ‘super’ Silver then you have to find a solid Gold.
“When you go in the Pro class, you can find the best three drivers that are available that you want to go with.
“In a way it’s an easier choice to find the drivers. The cost is the same. It’s the same amount of tires, same car, etc.
“But it was more of a choice to try to go win the GTE-Pro class with the right drivers.”
Riley’s effort will mark its first Le Mans start since 2019 when Keating Motorsports’ Ford GT was disqualified from the GTE-Am class victory over a fuel-related technicality.
“We’ve accepted the outcome,” Riley said. “It was a bad day for everybody. I don’t think the ACO wanted to throw us out and I don’t think we wanted to be thrown out.
“It was a tough day for everybody involved but we’re ready to go back and ready to have a good result.”
IMSA’s two other auto-invites have gone to Keating (LMP2) and Rob Ferriol (GTD) for winning the Trueman and Akin Awards, respectively, although Keating is not expected to take up his entry due to already being a full-season FIA World Endurance Championship entrant with TF Sport in GTE-Am.