Marvin Riley named IndyCar's Director of Engine Development

He will oversee the development of rules and standards for IndyCar engines.

Marvin Riley named IndyCar's Director of Engine Development
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INDYCAR announced the hiring of Marvin Riley as its director of engine development, choosing a member of the Honda Performance Development (HPD) family for the second consecutive time. Riley succeeds Trevor Knowles, who returned to his home in the UK earlier this year.

Who is Marvin Riley?

Riley, 33, is a New Jersey bred boy who earned his BSE in Mechanical Engineering at University of Michigan, where he was a member of that school’s famed Formula SAE group. He moved west to study at UCLA’s The Anderson School of Management, where he secured his MBA, business administration, management and operations.

A man who considers California his adopted home, Riley was an integral member of the HPD family from October 2004, following internship of over two years with IAV Automotive Engineering.

After joining Santa Clarita, Calif.-based Honda Performance Development, Riley worked first on the Indy car engine, then segued to associate development engineer on Honda’s sports car program, working with Knowles in that area of engine development. He continued on the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) engine program, including trackside operations, beginning this segment of his HPD career in June of 2007 and continuing through August 2010.

In the midst of his regular work, Riley took the time to be lead design judge, drivetrain, for Formula SAE - West, coordinating judging criteria for the annual Design event in California. He was responsible for final team judging with respect to engine and electronics.

Previously from Honda

More recently an upper level group leader and senior engineer for engine development at HPD, Riley has been responsible for direct injection research as INDYCAR segued into usage of that technology by both of its engine competitors, Honda and Chevrolet. Most recently he has managed the 10-person squadron responsible for build specification, text execution and product validation for all of HPD’s major engine projects.

Hired 10 years ago at HPD by former technical director Roger Griffiths, currently director of motorsports development for Andretti Autosport, Riley is, according to Griffiths, “an interesting choice. He is very motivated and understands the new technology and its applications” in current INDYCAR engine development. While he is, obviously, well known to everyone at HPD, he is less so with Ilmor Inc. (which rebuilds Chevrolet engines), as they never really had much contact with him during the latter stages of HPD’s partnership with Ilmor on INDYCAR’s V8 engine programs.

What he will do for IndyCar

In his new position, Riley works in concert with Will Phillips, who announced his hiring, to augment any new engine developments for both manufacturers and to make certain they all stick to the rules already in place. Riley’s hiring follows an extended search period for the right engine expert to fit INDYCAR’s criteria. “As well as helping to define the future INDYCAR powertrain regulations,” Phillips noted, “Marvin will oversee the engine manufacturers’ performance and competition to ensure they are competing within the current rules.”

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