Race Weekend Central

Visit Florida Racing Acquires Ligier JS P217 Chassis, Will Debut at Road America

See this car?  You will not be seeing it on-track any longer.  On Tuesday, Onroak Automotive announced that Visit Florida Racing has acquired a new Ligier JS P217 chassis from the French manufacturer.  The plan is for Visit Florida Racing to debut their new Ligier at Road America.

Visit Florida Racing owner Troy Flis is very satisfied with the new car.

“We have seen what the Ligier JS P217 is capable of, not only here in IMSA, but also in Europe as well, so we are eager to get to the track and learn about the JS P217 at Road America,” Flis said in a press release.  “I’m impressed with the customer support that Onroak Automotive has in place, and I have known Max Crawford [General Manager of Onroak Automotive’s American division based in Denver, N.C.] for a long time so that relationship is another key element for us and VISIT FLORIDA to make this commitment.”

The Ligier JS P217 will replace the Riley Mk. 30 in the picture above.  The original plan was to run the Riley Mk. 30 chassis and run competitively with it.  Eventually, the team would upgrade it to Mazda RT24-P specification once Mazda allowed for customer sales of their DPi.  However, Mazda’s move from SpeedSource to Team Joest appears to have scuttled any chance of that happening through the end of 2018.

The team started out the 2017 season quite well with a third-place finish in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.  However, the season has been all downhill since.  The team was forced to withdraw from Long Beach after Renger van der Zande crashed in practice and damaged the tub.  Another crash in Detroit after Kenny Habul‘s Mercedes had a rather unusual failure further hampered the team.  Through seven races, Visit Florida Racing sits tenth in Prototype team points.  That is worst of the teams that have attempted every race.

While the cost of a new chassis is substantial, not everything will be brand new for Visit Florida Racing.  As per LMP2 rules, all global LMP2 cars will run the Gibson V8 engine.  As a result, the team can use their existing stock from the Riley Mk. 30.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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