Riley Motorsports, a long-time competitor in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, is expanding its operations for the 2019 season, debuting a Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) class with Dylan Murry and James Cox.
Owner Bill Riley sees an IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge program as the next logical step for his team, which clinched its second consecutive Michelin Endurance Cup championship in the GT Daytona class in October. Riley is the fourth-winningest team in WeatherTech Championship history with 13 victories.
“I’ve definitely always liked that series,” said Riley at the Michelin on-track opportunity in Daytona last week. “We built the Camaros in the past for it for GS and I’ve always wanted to run a car there. I tried really hard last year to run a team there, but it didn’t work out. I was very close.”
“But this year, the opportunity to work with Jim Cox and Dylan Murry came up and really seems to be working quite well altogether right off the bat. And obviously picking AMG was one of our choices and the AMG car so far today, I have to say was flawless.”
Cox and Murry were both on hand for the Michelin on-track opportunity and have prior experience co-driving in the Michelin Pilot Challenge. Murry made his series debut alongside Cox with BGB Motorsports at the season-opener in Daytona this past January and the duo continued for five additional races together throughout the year.
“With Riley Motorsports coming to GT4 with Jim Cox and me, it will be a learning experience for both of us,” explained 18-year-old Murry. “The past test days at the Michelin test went great, but with the experience that Riley has, I can only see us getting better each race.”
Murry is well aware of the caliber of not only Riley Motorsports, but also Mercedes-AMG, all of which breeds confidence heading into the new year.
“2019 is going to be an incredible year racing for Riley Motorsports with support from Mercedes,” said Murry. “With the combination of the two, I believe that we will be a very powerful team. Honestly, I think we are going to be hard to beat at Daytona. And with the experience and crew that Riley Motorsports brings to the table, we can only get better. That’s a recipe for championships.”
The hunt for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge championship begins on January 25 with the first of 10 races on the season, the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona during the Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend. The race will be streamed live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary.
Prior to the season opener, all Michelin Pilot Challenge teams will take to the World Center of Racing for a three-day test session during the Roar Before the Rolex 24 on Jan. 4 – 6. Fans with a ticket to the Rolex 24 will have free admission to the Roar.