It is with great pleasure to announce that Riley Racing will be back competing in the 2014 IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge with a new racecar! The team sat out the 2013 season following their decision to retire their rotary-powered Mazda RX-8 after 5 seasons in the series. The replacement racecar is currently under construction with the crew working around the clock in hopes of making the 2014 season opening race at Daytona International Speedway in January.
The team has yet to release details about their 2014 car, currently concealed as Project 66.
In the meantime, the Riley Racing drivers are hard at work keeping their racing skills fine tuned…
Two new photo albums of all the action at the season finale race at Mid-Ohio are now posted!
Riley Racing had photographers Melissa K. Smith Photography & XSAutosports.com snapping shots around the track. Check them out!
After fixing the engine issues that plagued the team at their last event, Watkins Glen, Riley Racing returned for the season finale of the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
With only one week between the Lime Rock and Watkins Glen event, the Riley Racing crew was glad to leave Lime Rock Park with very little damage and few repairs. The Continental Tire 150 weekend at Watkins Glen International started extremely well, with Jameson Riley (@jamesonriley) going 2nd quickest again in Practice, demonstrating the true potential of the Riley Racing Mazda RX-8.
Having not raced with the Riley Racing Mazda RX-8 since the first race of the 2011 season at Daytona, the team spent the last few months developing the car and engine with great success. In the first practice session, Jameson Riley (@jamesonriley) was 2nd fastest of 33 cars, only 4 tenths off the record lap around Lime Rock Park for a Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge ST competitor.
With a newly installed Bosch ECU and some other updated components, we went into the first race of the 2011 Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge with high-hopes for success and more laps led at Daytona International Speedway. Our weekend started extremely well, and all of the new components worked exactly as we wanted. After two great practice sessions and some minor modifications to our updates, AJ Riley (@ajriley) got in the car to qualify in the afternoon. Unfortunately AJ had a minor fire inside the car when he had just started his flying lap and was forced to abandon his qualifying effort. The fire was quickly extinguished, and no one, including the car, was hurt.
The team started the ambitious project of installing and sorting a new Bosch ECU and wiring system for our PitchEngine Riley Racing Mazda RX-8 at the beginning of August. The team knew it was going to be a tight schedule to have Bosch build a custom ECU and wiring harness, install the system, work out any bugs and issues, and have the car sorted in less than 4 weeks, but we saw it as a project that was certainly possible.
As the saying goes, “expect the unexpected.” The team ran into multiple teething issues with the new system, including chasing a misfire for an entire day, thus wasting valuable development time. As this entire Bosch system is new to the team, it isn’t a simple plug-and-play system, and requires not only learning how to install the system, but also how to operate and modify the tuning parameters for the ECU.