Riley to race at Le Mans after Team SARD-Morand Withdrawal

by Daniel Lloyd

Riley Motorsports has been promoted to a Le Mans 24 Hours berth after Team SARD Morand was forced to withdraw one of its cars from the event.

The American team, partnered with TI Automotive, will field a Dodge Viper GTS-R in the French endurance classic, which doubles up as the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Jeroen Bleekemolen and Ben Keating are the two confirmed drivers, with another set to be announced in the coming weeks.

Riley last appeared at Le Mans in 2013, when it ran two SRT Viper factory cars in GTE Pro.

The replacement comes after Team SARD Morand hit administrative issues following the team’s takeover by London-based IT company Kairos Technologies, which is also a partner of ELMS squad Greaves Motorsport. Benoit Morand’s team missed the opening round of the season at Silverstone, although a one-car entry for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is still on the cards.

The withdrawal of the #39 Morgan Nissan means that the team’s Race to 24 initiative is still set to go ahead, with the winner of the unique ‘reality series’ driver selection process guaranteed a seat at Le Mans in the #43 car.

With Riley Motorsports now set for Le Mans, Chinese squad KCMG has been bumped up to the first reserve spot with its ORECA 05 coupe.

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