Visit Florida Racing boss Troy Flis has made no secret about the fact that he isn’t happy with the current Riley Mk30 LMP2 chassis. VFR originally attempted to secure a Mazda RT24-P DPi but after the deal fell through they were left with the standard Riley Gibson package.
The season started well with a strong podium finish at Daytona, but it has all been downhill from there. The car was withdrawn from Long Beach after accident damage sustained in practice couldn’t be repaired, and the team hasn’t recovered since then.
Not surprisingly, the team has already started making plans for next season. NASportsCar reports that the team is scheduled to shakedown a “new car” on August 1st, with no other details.
What options do VFR have? A Cadillac DPi-V.R is not out of the question. GM have dominated 2017 and will be keen to hold onto this performance as Joest and Penske prepare for 2018. VFR would make a solid 4th Cadillac team if there are enough chassis and engines available. If not a Cadillac just yet, then it could be a Dallara P217 LMP2 chassis, in preparation for a Cadillac in 2018.
If VFR is not moving to a DPi, there is also a possibility the team could be testing an Oreca or Ligier chassis. The French chassis have proved far superior to the Riley, so could provide a significant boost up the grid. Onroak have hinted at being involved with another manufacturer, and IMSA have repeatedly thrown in comments about another unnamed manufacturer. Are VFR involved with someone new?
What is not likely is either a Mazda RT24-P or an Acura AXR-05. The Mazda is due to undergo significant development in the hands of Multimatic and Joest, whilst the Acura will be in the safe hands of Roger Penske and his team.
If the team are already scheduling a shakedown of the car, then they must have plans to run it soon. Whatever they have will most likely run the rest of the IMSA season. The next event is Road America, August 6th. Will the new car be ready by then? Watch for the entry lists to be published.