Riley’s back-to-back Rolex 24 LMP3 wins “very special”

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The #74 Ligier JS P320 shared by Robinson, Michael Cooper, Felipe Fraga and Kay van Berlo commanded the baby prototype division in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener, leading 488 of the 723 laps.

Riley ended up finishing a lap clear of its nearest opponent, the #33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier, to continue the team’s perfect record of LMP3 wins in the Rolex 24 since the class was introduced to the race in 2021.

“The Rolex 24 at Daytona is a very special race for myself and my family,” said Robinson, whose father George was also an IMSA racer. “To win the first one was very special. It took generations of Robinsons racing to win the first one.

“Winning two, especially in a row, back-to-back, is something I never thought would have been something that was even in the cards for us.

“Even Bill [Riley, team owner] said he’s never won two back-to-back. Being able to do that for him was very, very special.”

Robinson said he also relished the chance to coach teammates Cooper and van Berlo, both IMSA rookies.

“Before this year, before today, I always kind of felt like the new kid, the younger kid that had to learn from teammates, co-drivers,” said the 27-year-old. “I’ve always had coaches and stuff like that that helped me. We still do help each other throughout the weekend, stuff like that.

“This was the first time I had more Rolex 24 starts than the rest of my crew members. I’m the second oldest person on the team. So that was very strange for me.

“I kind of found myself going from someone needing instruction to someone giving instruction. So for me that was really fun. I really did enjoy that.”

For Fraga, the win was especially significant as he had been forced to sit out the 2021 Rolex 24 due to US immigration restrictions from his native Brazil, with ex-IndyCar driver Spencer Pigot taking his place.

Pigot went on to claim class victory that year alongside Robinson, Oliver Askew and Scott Andrews.

Fraga reflected: “Last year was really hard, really tough for me to be watching it from home. I was supposed to be in the car. I’m so happy that we made it in 2022, now.

“Happy for Gar, for Riley, because Bill really believed in my work in 2019 already when I was racing with Ben [Keating]. And he kept me on the team. We raced Le Mans, and we came to Daytona together.

“I’m so glad to do this win together with Bill and Gar and the whole crew. They were amazing. No mistakes from the team, any pit stops, anything. It was a perfect race.”

…Read more.



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