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Sebring Wednesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Wednesday notebook from Sebring…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***3GT Racing arrived at Sebring with both of its Lexus RC F GT3 cars, despite initial concerns that Ryan Hunter-Reay’s latest lawsuit filed against team owner Paul Gentilozzi could have effected Gentilozzi’s program. Multiple paddock sources have indicated to that the court case was settled earlier this week, with Sportscar365 awaiting comment from Hunter-Reay’s attorney.

***The lawsuit stemmed from a breach of contract during the 2005 Champ Car season, for which Hunter-Reay was awarded $3.3 million in a federal suit last month. While on-site at Sebring, Paul Gentilozzi declined comment when asked about the court case.

***Colin Thompson has been added to the No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09 this weekend, alongside Marc Drumwright, Chapman Ducote and Gustavo Yacaman, with full-season drivers Don Yount and Buddy Rice joined by Danny Burkett in the team’s No. 20 car.

***Starworks Motorsport has yet to confirm the lineup for its solo No. 8 entry. James Dayson is the only driver currently listed on the entry list, with Alex Popow’s name present on the car in the paddock this afternoon.

***Michael de Quesada has replaced his father and team owner, Carlos, in the Rolex 24 at Daytona class-winning No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R this weekend, alongside Daniel Morad, Michael Christensen and Spencer Pumpelly, who shifts from the team’s pit box at Daytona to the driver’s seat for this race.

***A total of 46 cars are set for the race, which doubles as the second round of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.

***Various cars have underwent Balance of Performance changes since Daytona, but none more than the Cadillac DPi-V.R., which has received a total 2.1 mm reduction in air restrictor, 20 kg weight increase and fuel capacity and refueling restrictor reductions, in two waves. Cadillac DPi Program Coordinator Max Angelelli told Sportscar365 that the air restrictor adjustment alone equates to approximately a 70 horsepower decrease.

***The third Ford GT from Chip Ganassi Racing is being crewed by the same WEC mechanics that work on the No. 66 entry in the globe-trotting championship. WEC team principal George Howard-Chappell is also on hand, with the car having been set up underneath Multimatic Motorsports’ transporter, which had typically been used for its Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge program.

***Continental Tire is set to give its new Prototype tire its competition debut this weekend, after months of testing and development. It marks the first tire designed specifically for LMP2-based cars, which has already received positive marks from drivers.

***The exclusive tire provider for the P, Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona class has also made available an updated, more robust GTD wet tire, following issues selected teams faced at Daytona. Continental’s Travis Roffler told Sportscar365 that as a good-will gesture, they will take back and replace all unused GTD wet tires in teams’ inventory free of charge, while offering a credit for two sets of tires at Sebring for each GTD team that competed at Daytona.

***Continental is also supplying the new-look Prototype Challenge powered by Mazda Series, which kicks off this weekend with LMP3 machinery making its highly anticipated North American race debut.

***Colin Thompson topped the time charts in Wednesday’s opening practice, laying down a quick lap of 1:57.670 in the brand-new Norma M30, entered by Kelly-Moss Road and Race. Mazda Road to Indy star Nico Jamin, a late addition to the event, was second, in an ANSA Motorsports Ligier JS P3. Click Here for the results.

***Thompson and Performance Tech’s Kyle Masson are the only two drivers set to pull double-duty between the PC series and Saturday’s 12-hour race. Of note, Kelly-Moss has a Ligier JS P3 in its tent that’s for sale.

***Marc Goossens turned laps in Ave Motorsports’ Ave-Riley AR-2 in this morning’s test session, to help provide a baseline for the car. The AR-2, along with the Norma, is making its competition debut this weekend. Veteran engineer Mark Scott is working with the Ave program, which will be raced by by Trans-Am veteran Paul Fix.

***Open-wheel rising star RC Enerson, meanwhile, also got behind the wheel of a LMP3 car in the test, with Enerson in one of JDC Motorsports’ Ligiers. The 20-year-old Floridian made his sports car racing debut at Daytona, in PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ Ligier JS P217 Gibson and is set for a partial European Le Mans Series season with Joel Janco in one of Duqueine Engineering’s Ligiers.

***Dane Cameron got seat time in a LMP3 car last week, during a two-day test at Sebring, where the reigning WeatherTech Championship Prototype champion assisted Onroak Automotive North America with a “house” Ligier that will not race. Ten of the thirteen LMP3 cars taking part this weekend are Ligiers.

***Rolex 24 at Daytona class winners Performance Tech Motorsports has a massive seven-car program at Sebring, with four Elan DP02s in the newly renamed MPC class of Prototype Challenge, a Ligier and Ginetta LMP3 each in the P3 class, as well as its WeatherTech Championship-entered Oreca FLM09 for Masson, James French and Pato O’Ward, who is coming off an impressive Indy Lights debut last weekend in St. Pete.

***Ricky and Jordan Taylor, plus new co-driver Alex Lynn made a visit to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando on Wednesday, as part of an event for the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, a proud charity of IMSA.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. jason

    March 15, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    The that stood out to me was “Starworks Motorsport has yet to confirm the lineup for its solo No. 8 entry.” No ride buyers perhaps? I hope that is true.

    • hoopla

      March 15, 2017 at 11:36 pm

      Yeah lets hope all the amateur teams go out of business so we can have pure racing you know. None of this silly sustainable crap.

      • Andy Flinn

        March 15, 2017 at 11:53 pm

        C’mon hoopla, seven DPis and ten GTLMs racing around Sebring for 12 hours should be enough to satisfy anybody, right?

        [I’m kidding.]

      • Cactus Tony

        March 16, 2017 at 7:27 am

        I, too, will not be satisfied until the paddock has been decimated to serve my whims. It’s too bad the amateurs like PR1 and JDC didn’t go out of business before they could move up to the P class, or that Core didn’t fold when they were a ride-buyer special in PC.

        • jason

          March 16, 2017 at 10:26 am

          I think everybody is way out of context here. I’m talking about LMPC specifically. I think its great that JDC, Core, and PR1 moved to other classes and I cheer for them now.

          • Dan

            March 16, 2017 at 10:45 am

            No Jason you have made your hatred of AMs and prototypes in general clear from day 1. If I had a dollar for everyone you have made a comment about wanting GT cars to win overall and made a disparaging remark about AMs I could afford a full season ride in any class. You have been a textbook example of broken record. Don’t try and play dumb now.

  2. Mike S.

    March 16, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Yeah working on shortening up the GTD ranks now it seems a bit. TRG, AJR, other big names. Lambo has a few cars and contenders but ill be honest a few fodder in there so if those Lambo numbers dropped it wouldn’t hurt much.

    • Luna

      March 16, 2017 at 5:54 am

      Lambo has only a real good team, Grasser. After Sebring it goes back to Europe. What is left here it will be only the result of an incompetent management.

  3. Mike S.

    March 16, 2017 at 1:58 am

    Yeah Gentilozzi has 3.3 million reasons why racing could be tough and could affect his program.

    • Luna

      March 16, 2017 at 5:37 am

      I’m still confused how a manufacturer like Lexus can put its name next to Gentilozzi.
      Why not Buckler…

      • Eric

        March 16, 2017 at 8:11 am

        Badum-tish!

      • David Chaste

        March 16, 2017 at 3:26 pm

        Lexus put the program up for bid. You get what you pay for. After that fumbled Jaguar program and not being able to win a PC title with a stout pairing like Cummings and Junqueira i could no longer rate them as a top flight outfit.

        • Luna

          March 16, 2017 at 4:33 pm

          I mean… Everyone knows who is Gentilozzi. As with Buckler.
          Are at Lexus so naif that they never heard about?

  4. Luna

    March 16, 2017 at 6:02 am

    70 hp less on Cadillac?
    Daytona BoP:
    1.in IMSA they are incompetent. Possible
    2.in IMSA they are competent enough to plan a Cadillac victory. Very possible.
    3.Cadillac performed outside the expectations. They cheated like Lambo last year. They should be stripped of the victory and penalized. Very impossible.

    Call the BoP with its real name : manipulating results.

    • WBrowning

      March 16, 2017 at 9:26 am

      The real consequences, besides the Caddies getting slower: Florida beaches just got a little bigger.

    • Bakkster

      March 16, 2017 at 9:52 am

      First BoP of the season with brand new cars was always going to be difficult.

      At the end of the day, we can at least draw solace from none of the other cars being durable enough, so the BoP advantage they had didn’t change the result.

      • Luna

        March 16, 2017 at 12:42 pm

        Wait a minute. Imsa spent days and nights testing aero and engine. They checked the Cadillac at the ROAR. Did they made a mistake if 2.1mm?Seriously?
        Let’s say that a DPi had to win the Rolex 24 and possibly a Caddy and possibly Jeff Gordon…
        Another NASCARade…

        • welp

          March 16, 2017 at 3:43 pm

          IMSA even went as far as to publically claim that they had the BOP right for Daytona and there would not be one make running away with it…

  5. NASCAR/DPs Suck

    March 16, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Dang, if they had 70 horsepower to spare and are still in front the others are in trouble this year.

  6. David Chaste

    March 16, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    The Cadillac DPi package is simply superior to ACO’S LMP2 package. Considering what GM spent on the Corvette DPi’s, I would believe they would earmark a larger budget for their luxury brand. Meanwhile the LMP2 cars can only be sold for so much.

  7. David Chaste

    March 16, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    For the 2005 Champ Car season when Gentilozzi took Hunter Reay out of the car for the last 2 races to run Michael McDowell, in my opinion at that time i doubt he received more than a million per race. But it was probably more like 500 grand per race. Since those races were outside the country (Australia and Mexico) i imagine RSR was cash strapped and figured they could make do with a paying driver. McDowell got similar results to Hunter Reay for being a rookie. So he was good. So being that good you don’t want to pay to drive so he moved on to Nascar. So if Gentilozzi made about a million on that deal it must really have stung to pay back the 3.3 million now. They should have just dropped out of the season for those 2 races. Champ car was loosing fans and revenue and teams were cash strapped. American open wheel stars no longer viewed open wheel as their destiny.

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