With the ACO’s confirmation of the four official 2017 P2 chassis suppliers, Italy’s Dallara and France’s Onroak Automotive and ORECA comprise will three standalone choices and on the North American side, U.S.-based Riley Technologies and Canada’s Multimatic will collaborate to produce the fourth option.
As the only joint P2 chassis project for 2017, I asked Bill Riley to detail the working relationship, design, and manufacturing dynamic between his company in North Carolina and Multimatic’s facilities in the greater Toronto area and its extension in the UK.
“We’ve worked together in the past – we used their (damper) inerters and their simulation program on the Dodge Viper (GTLM) program and we’ve always wanted to do a bigger project together,” Riley said. “We had a good relationship and a lot of respect to start with, and when this project came together, they had a lot to bring to the table and so did we. It’s a good marriage.”
As an existing P2 chassis manufacturer, Multimatic’s capabilities with large-scale composites are well known, and with decades of mechanical and chassis design expertise, Bill and his legendary father Bob Riley will offer solutions to complete the rest of the car.
“The car will be sold in the U.S. from our facility in Mooresville, most of the composites will be done at the Multimatic Technical Center by Multimatic, and we’ll take care of the suspension, the wiring, and the assembly,” Riley explained.
“Bob will be heading up the design. We’re going to visit with MTC and see what they have to offer on the design side and the CFD side and figure out how it all fits.”
Riley got the call from the ACO confirming its selection approximately two hours before the announcement went out Thursday morning, and says the Riley/Multimatic project will start ramping up right away on a brand-new design.
“We’ll be plenty busy, that’s for sure; we have the LMP3 car we’re finishing with Tony Ave, and now we’ll jump right into this,” he noted. “I know Bob would love to see if there was a way to make the P2 car he designed (in 2010) that never got made; he’s moved on from it. He’s got something in mind for the new P2 car, and it will be a clean-sheet design.”