Last weekend was a winning one for the Motul-backed teams at the 24 Hours of Daytona. First, Pfaff Motorsports took P1 in the IMSA GTD Pro class with its Porsche in the iconic Canadian plaid livery. Meanwhile, DragonSpeed USA flew to LMP2 victory. Robinson Racing – Team Riley Motorsports then put the icing on the cake by claiming first place in the LMP3 class in the final round after a very tough race. We chatted with Riley Motorsports team owner Bill Riley after the checkered flag went down.
Bill, how does this hard-fought victory make you feel?
It always feels very special for our team to win here in Daytona, and certainly this year. To understand it properly, you must know our history. Gar Robinson, who was part of this year’s winning team, is the son of George Robinson. George bought his first race car from me in 1996 and that also happened to be the first car we built back then. Therefore, it feels even more special to see history repeating itself, but this time 26 years later with Gar at the steering wheel crossing the finish line. We and the Robinsons have formed a strong team for many years now.
That means you and the Robinsons have quite some Daytona experience?
Yes absolutely. For an American race team, the Daytona 24 Hours is one of the most prestigious events you can win. We have a record standing history here in terms of Daytona wins. Since 1996 we had 20 victories in Daytona, either overall or class wins. Our team has a reputation here to defend.
As a race car builder, you teamed up with Motul. How is the partnership evolving?
Our relationship is relatively fresh. I was introduced to somebody in the Motul crew by a mutual friend three years ago, and we started collaborating shortly after. All the engines in our racecars are lubricated by the famous 300V oil. We also use the gearbox oil and the RBF700 brake fluid. We’re very happy with their support. Even before we officially started collaborating, I was a fan of Motul products.
Do you also notice improvements in performance and reliability of the engine?
It’s a combination of both. Our cars’ engines are constantly being pushed to their technical limits. The 300V has a proven track record in endurance racing, it protects the vital engine parts, so reliability is guaranteed. Secondly performance is key, race engines are being stretched to their maximum, and the right lubricant helps our engines to perform at their best and allow the drivers to push the engine to its maximum. It’s just one less thing we must worry about during a long endurance race.
2022 started off with a big bang, winning the 24H Daytona. How are you looking forward to the rest of the season?
Last year we finished third place in Sebring. This weekend’s victory is giving us the confidence we needed to aim for a second win in Sebring in March. It’s our second year in the LMP3 class so we learned a lot from the first season. Gar Robinson and his co-drivers Cooper, Fraga and van Berlo did a terrific job and fought the car to the finish line after a nail-biting race. We are looking forward to the 2022 season, aiming for more victories!
Gar Robinson, added:
“There isn’t one race on the schedule that’s easy to win, but when you do it with the team like we have, with Bill Riley and all the guys back at the shop, and all the prep we do, it does generate the results. Clinching back-to-back LMP3 victories in the Rolex 24 at Daytona for Riley Motorsports is just "very special". Winning two, especially in a row, back-to-back, is something I never thought would have been something that was even on the cards for us.