With the car reaching the end of its professional life, Ben Keating and Bill Riley are hoping to give the Dodge Viper GTS-R one final sendoff in September’s FIA World Endurance Championship race at Circuit of The Americas.
Sportscar365 has learned that Riley has submitted a GTE-Am entry request for the Six Hours of Circuit of The Americas in September, but is awaiting final word from the FIA on the entry’s confirmation.
It’s understood the sixth round of the WEC season could have already reached the maximum number of entries.
“We’ve asked the question on whether we can race at COTA,” Keating told Sportscar365. “If they’ll let us in, we’ll love to run at COTA.
“It’s the last chance I’ll be able to run the car. We expected to run Le Mans and made a big investment in the car. It’s ready to go.”
Riley had planned to race the ex-factory Viper GTS-R in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, following Keating’s debut with the car in 2014, but it was instead placed on the reserve list and later withdrawn.
Bill Riley told Sportscar365 they’ve spent a considerable amount of money on new parts for the car, in anticipation of the return to Le Mans this year, which did not materialize.
With GTE-Am rules adopting the new-for-2016 GTE-Pro regulations next year, the COTA outing would be the final pro race for the Riley Technologies-built car, which claimed the 2014 IMSA GTLM Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships.
Texas native Keating, meanwhile, made his LMP2 debut at Le Mans this year, as a direct result of the denied GTE-Am entry, and is targeting a comeback to the race in 2017, potentially with Riley-Multimatic’s new LMP2 car.
One caveat, however, is that Riley Motorsports would not be able to run the car for Keating, as factory constructor teams are prohibited in the new-look LMP2 class.
“I’d love to do Le Mans again and I’d love to do it in a Riley P2,” Keating said. “It’s anybody’s best guess on what the field will look like.”
Keating and Riley, meanwhile, are evaluating multiple GTD manufacturer options for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2017.