The benchmark American car at the time of the WSC Category
Which car in the Sport-Prototype category of the mid-90s symbolizes the American fire and passion for cars and the power of the machines of that time better than the Riley & Scott MKIII? None! As the chief rival of the Ferrari 333 SP that was built at the same time, the Riley & Scott MKIII gleaned numerous successes in endurance and sprint races. It had a long life, racing in the IMSA GT Championship, the USRRC, the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and also the European championships (such as the International Sports Racing Series and the FIA Sports Car Championship)
Created in 1995 as veritable WSC Category monsters, there were Riley & Scott cars still racing until 2005, making for a 10-year-long career. Chassis 006 reflects the ease with which the Riley & Scott MKIIIs carved themselves out a place in endurance racing. Chassis 006 made five appearances in the 24 Hours of Daytona, two appearances in the 12 Hours of Sebring and one appearance in the Petit Le Mans race. A 100% American track record, with a win in the Texas 500 Miles in its very first race!
A fast, easy-to-maintain American car
While Ferrari was launching their “American Dream” project with the 333 SP, the Americans Bob Riley, Bill Riley and Mark Scott (Riley & Scott Cars Inc.) were also launching a similar project on paper, to produce a car that met the new WSC regulations, which came into force in 1994 in the United States. The World Sports Car category was the new category that replaced the GTP, a kind of American version of the LMP1. Their idea was to create a fast, affordable car requiring little maintenance.
The Riley & Scott outfit was still young (founded in 1990) and had already built a car for the Trans-Am, as well as a road car. The MKIII project was to be their most emblematic project.
The body chassis was made of a frame of steel tube and carbon composite panels. The chassis had a double wishbone suspension with coil springs activated by a push rod. The engine bay was designed to be large enough to accommodate a variety of naturally aspirated engines used by the IMSA teams. The basic MKIII could thus be configured with a V8 Ford, a Chevrolet or an Oldsmobile engine.
The Riley & Scott MKIIIs’ career debut was planned as for 1994 but was finally pushed back. Due to the scant interest shown for the first version of the “Mark III”, the car was not raced in 1994. The car was revised and fine-tuned, and finally made its debut in 1995. Dyson Racing was the first team to use one of the cars, replacing a Spice-Ferrari. At Daytona, the only car entered completed just 11 laps, with the Ford engine preventing it from going any further. Sebring produced a modest 37th place. But in the Road Atlanta race, Dyson Racing managed to win. Four more victories followed, with James Weaver finishing second in the IMSA driver standings, just two tiny points behind Fermin Velez. The career of the Riley & Scott MKIII had at last taken off. Above all, it had found its true calling. On the bumpy, bruising circuits of the United States, it truly danced and managed to overcome all difficulties.
The Riley & Scott MKIII # 006: a win on its first outing
In 1996, thanks to the excellent results achieved in 1995, several teams bought MKIII cars. Chassis # 006 was acquired by the Doyle Racing team, who were to become be the most prolific team. They also acquired another chassis, the # 004. With chassis # 004, officially supported as they were by Riley & Scott, the team won the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Chassis # 006 only started competing in May 1996 in Texas. The # 004 had left for Europe, and more particularly for France, to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team were hoping to achieve a hat-trick with the same chassis (Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans) but failed to win at Le Mans (retired after 157 laps with a transmission problem). The car put up a real performance though, with Wayne Taylor achieving the 3rd fastest time of the pre-qualifying practice session, and the 7th time in the qualifying session (3’47”635). A blistering time, less than a second from Pierluigi Martini’s pole position time of 3’46”682 in his Porsche TWR. The Riley & Scott was very much at ease on the Le Mans circuit, largely up to competing with the TWR-Porsches, the Porsche 911 GT1s, the Ferrari 333 SPs or the McLaren F1 GTRs.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the # 006’s first race was a success! – a victory for Wayne Taylor and Jim Pace on the car’s very first outing, when they got back from France. Two months later, a new victory followed, at Sears Point, this time with Scott Sharp partnering Wayne Taylor. The year 1996 ended with a 4th place at Mosport, a 2nd place at Dallas and finally a retirement (the first) at the 3 Hours of Daytona. 1996 was a great season!
Chassis # 006 played a part in Riley & Scott’s successful harvest that year, with the American cars winning 7 races out of 10. Wayne Taylor won the Drivers’ Championship, and Oldsmobile the Constructors’ Championship. Chassis # 006 contributed to these triumphs and its blue, yellow and white livery went down in the history books.
The Riley & Scott MKIII # 006: a 100% American career
In 1997, the Dibos Racing team, managed by the Peruvian driver Eduardo Dibos, raced chassis # 006. There were no wins but three podiums in the season. At the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, Eduardo Dibos, Jim Pace and Barry Waddell finished on the third step of the podium. Ahead of them, the Dyson Racing team (Riley & Scott MKIII) and Team Scandia (Ferrari 333 SP) set the benchmark, but the Dibos Racing team, flying the Peruvian flag, offered the # 006 a fine race record.
After a year away from the circuits in 1998, chassis # 006 came back, with the TRV Motorsport team. On taking possession of the car, TRV Motorsport replaced the Oldsmobile Aurora V8 with a Chevrolet engine. The car raced with this team until its retirement, alternating between the United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC), then the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and the Grand-Am. At Daytona, Sebring and even Le Petit Le Mans, the # 006 raced constantly on these legendary tracks. The results were not as brilliant as during the earlier years. Riley & Scott did not provide any direct support and developed the MKIIICs. But the # 006 carved out a solid track record for itself. With its appearance in the second edition of the Petit Le Mans race in 1999, and its presence in all the championships of the time, the Riley & Scott MKIII # 006 truly bears witness to the golden age of the WSC cars.
Eligible for all the greatest historic races
After being acquired by an American collector and competitor, the # 006 has undergone a major overhaul. It is ready to race. Recently, the # 006 was entered for historic races in the USA, with its owner and Nigel Greensall at the wheel. It was successfully entered for the Sebring Classic and the Daytona Classic. At the beginning of last year, it distinguished itself at the Brands Hatch round of the Masters series (see the video below).
The car is being sold with current crack test and tank certificates, and its certificate to compete in the Masters series. The electronic management system and the wiring harness have been replaced by a MOTEC M800.
Now back in its original configuration – complete with the Doyle Racing livery – the # 006 is an excellent choice if you wish to race in the many competitions open to the prototypes of the 90’s. Its strengths? You only need to have a chat with any driver who has been lucky enough to have driven a Riley & Scott MKIII to hear praises heaped on the car!
This beautiful American car has a lot going for her in terms of competitiveness, maintenance cost, driving pleasure and eligibility: The 7-litre Chevrolet engine offers considerable torque at low speed and more than 700 horsepower, allowing both the gentleman driver of the experienced racing driver to take advantage of the different facets of the engine. The maintenance cost of the engine and the gearbox is very limited (even compared to the GT from the same period). The Riley & Scott MKIII # 006 has a superb body line and livery. Last but nor least, it is eligible for absolutely all the best events in both the United States (Daytona 24 Hours Classic, Sebring Classic, Monterey Laguna Seca) and in Europe, with the Masters series and Peter Auto’s Endurance Legends Racing series, without forgetting the Le Mans Classic.
It can be seen by appointment in our premises