Championship-winning constructor Riley has been named the featured marque of the 2022 Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Classic at Daytona presented by IMSA, scheduled for November 2-6 at Daytona International Speedway.
Race cars designed and constructed by Riley Technologies and Riley & Scott, as well as cars run in competition by Riley Motorsports, are eligible in the majority of run groups and classes approved for competition in the HSR Classic 24. Riley-built or -run race cars have been major players in the first seven editions of the event, with several different Riley-related cars scoring run group and/or class victories since the 2014 inaugural.
“First there was Carroll Shelby and Jim Hall, then came Dan Gurney, and then there was Riley,” HSR President David Hinton said. “They fit right in with the other big names in American motorsports that won as both racing teams and constructors. Bob Riley and now his son Bill Riley have followed in their footsteps and are still going strong today. It’s an honor to be able to have Riley join us as the Featured Marque of the 2022 HSR Classic Daytona presented by IMSA.”
Riley Technologies was founded by Bob Riley a young designer early in his career at Kar-Kraft, constructor of the legendary Ford Mk IV. This car is, to date, the only all-American built car to claim the overall victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans following a dominating performance in 1967 with co-drivers Gurney and AJ Foyt.
That early and now legendary victory was a precursor to Riley’s own success as a constructor, and Riley-built race cars earned a seemingly endless string of race and championship winning success for decades in both U.S. competition and abroad.
The success has not been confined to just sports car road racing. Foyt won four 500-mile races in a Riley-designed Coyote, culminating with the Indianapolis 500 in 1977 that made “Super Tex” the first four-time winner of the Memorial Day classic race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Now 91-years-old and a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, Bob Riley still works every day and never stops designing and developing race cars. His partner for more than 30 years has been his son, Bill, who is an accomplished designer and engineer in his own right but has also built the Riley Motorsports team-related business into a true global powerhouse.
“It’s a huge honor to be asked to join the HSR Classic 24 as the Featured Marque,” Bill Riley said. “Obviously, HSR is a great group and it’s always great to see so many of our cars out there and still racing for wins and championships. It will be really interesting to see how many of our old cars come out of the woodwork to be at the race. I am so glad this announcement is being made, because I have wanted to talk about it ever since HSR gave us the invitation! It is going to be such a cool thing—really a huge reunion of a lot of past cars and a lot of great customers. My father is doing very well, he is very fired up about being in Daytona in November, and that is one of his goals for this year.”
Bill Riley and Riley Motorsports will be in action this weekend in the 90th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, campaigning a Ferrari 488 GTE Pro Evo for Roy Carroll and Bee Safe Racing. Co-drivers in the GTE-Pro class No. 74 Ferrari are Sam Bird, Shane van Gisbergen and Felipe Fraga.
It is at Daytona, however, where Riley has achieved some of its greatest success. Riley-built cars or Riley run teams have amassed well over 20 overall and class victories in the Rolex 24 At Daytona alone, America’s premier 24-hour sports car race to which the HSR Classic 24 annually pays tribute.
Riley’s amazing record includes 13 overall Rolex 24 victories by Riley-designed and built prototypes, back-to-back IMSA WeatherTech LMP3 triumphs this year and last, and overall and GT-class victories in 2015. (Chip Ganassi Racing won overall that year in a Ford Riley Mk XXVI Daytona Prototype while a TI Automotive Racing Viper GT3-R Riley Technologies designed and built and fielded by Riley Motorsports secured GTD honors.)
A current initiative with ties to the vintage and historic motorsports world is the Rileys’ acquisition, along with Jim Matthews, of the Kar-Kraft assets for a Mk IV continuation project. Initial plans call for a production run of up to 10 period-correct continuation MK IV cars in the project that reunites Bob Riley with the car he helped design 55 years after the legendary 1967 Le Mans win.
For more information on Riley Technologies and Riley Motorsports, click HERE.
Information on the HSR Classic 24 is available HERE.