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CTSC CTMP Weekend Notebook

Sportscar365’s weekend notebook from Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge at CTMP…

Photo: Compass Racing

***Team TGM has returned to full strength this weekend following the purchase of Robinson Racing’s Mercedes-AMG GT4 to replace its No. 4 car that was severely damaged from an accident in qualifying at Watkins Glen. The Ted Giovanis and Guy Cosmo-driven entry is still in Robinson’s colors due to the tight turnaround from The Glen.

***Giovanis returns to the site of his season-ending accident last year, which put the team owner on the sidelines due to a ruptured achilles tendon.

***While TGM is back to a two-car operation, Winward Racing is down to only a single Mercedes GT4, following Bryce Ward’s heavy accident in last weekend’s race. Ward, who sustained a concussion in the race-ending shunt, was not scheduled to drive this weekend due to a conflicting commitment.

***It’s resulted in a 22-car GS starting field, down from the 24 entries that took part at The Glen, with all three of Automatic Racing’s Aston Martin Vantage GT4s not making the trip North of the Border.

***The No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT4, which is on the entry list with Justin Marks listed as the team’s single driver, took part in the practice sessions only for filming purposes for the upcoming “Art of Racing in the Rain” movie that’s being shot here this weekend.

***Turner has yet to make a Continental Tire Challenge start this season although its BMW, as well as Continental Tire, will be heavily featured in the Patrick Dempsey-produced film, along with entries from Compass Racing and Winward (pictured above), which were utilized for closed-circuit filming on Thursday.

***Local team Shining Star Motorsport by Atlantic Racing Team makes it GS class debut with its Mercedes GT4 for Canadians Phil Holtrust and Danny Kok.

***Other changes to the entry list since last weekend include the return of Chase Briscoe to the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4, Joey Atterbury back in the No. 59 Roush Performance/KohR Motorsports Mustang GT4 and Jayson Clunie in the No. 26 Classic BMW M4 GT4.

***The TCR class features an all-Audi affair, with the Rumcastle Volkswagen Gold GTI TCR not here this weekend. The second eEuroparts Racing Audi RS 3 LMS TCR, meanwhile, only turned laps in the promoter test day on Thursday.

***The GS class has seen several Balance of Performance adjustments, with the Audi R8 LMS GT4 getting a 20kg increase in minimum weight and 15kg weight breaks for both the McLaren 570S GT4 and Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs.

***Watch the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120 at 2:55 p.m. EDT live on IMSA.tv. The race will air on FS1 on July 15 at 10:30 a.m. ET.

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

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Matt

    July 7, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Wondering what IMSA will do regarding TCR and ST for next year. TCR isn’t exactly cheap and has failed as a class so far this year. I believe IMSA needs to return to a cheap, cost capped ST class.

    • Andy

      July 7, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      TCR is a nice idea to buy a turn key mid-level car but those things have the aero treatment of a DTM car and don’t seem to have much in common with the street cars. I don’t know how to get the ST type cars back on track as it seems few build a car with open electronics that teams could tune any more.

      How were teams building the current ST cars like the Minis and BMWs? I’m assuming at least some level of BMW involvement with the tech side to provide them a cleaner ECU and well you want to race an MX-5 there’s no shortage of parts and cars for that mission

    • Mo

      July 7, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      Next year is GS/GT4 and TCR. Not sure what you mean in saying TCR has failed when it’s not due to be at full strength until next year.

      • Andy

        July 7, 2018 at 4:50 pm

        I don’t understand what you mean by full strength, the class is already out and established so it’s not like rules are being created this season for IMSA. The cars you can buy are already built and none are what teams currently in ST have any interest in using.
        Bimmerworld-BMWs obviously and have already bought in with GT4 M4s as their future

        Bodymotion- Cayman won’t be eligible under TCR so I’d guess they’re going GT4 as with their other car

        JCW Mini- No Mini TCR car as of yet so they look to be done at the end of 2018 or before

        Murillo- Likely to race whatever a driver wants to buy with TCR and GT4 in their stable this season

        Freedom Autosport- Has already left as the MX-5 is not eligible and Mazda does not look to be building a TCR chassis

        I doubt we will lose many of the TCR teams that have already purchased cars but doubtful we will ever get more than 10-12 on track in 2019. A huge net loss compared to the fields of even a couple years ago. Yes, there were a lot of Cayman and MX-5 on track but that doesn’t negate the drop in car and team count. I would expect the only gain of a new car could be possibly a Hyundai i30 with some Hyundai backing. That is IF they decide to go DPi with JDC-Miller, but they already run a TCR program using Audis so a net zero in car count. Possibly Herta Motorsports if Hyundai pay them to run a dual program to test out IMSA competition. In the same line as the ever present Hyundai to race rumor, the Alfa rumors always pop out but they don’t sell the Giulietta here yet so that could be a tough sell.

        To me TCR sounded like a great idea to be able to homologate one car per manufacturer and not have to deal with Team A, B and C doing different things. It would save the teams money and the series organizers headaches of having a different spec for each car. But that does take away the last garagista, run what ya brung style of racing, sadly I think the cars have done that to an extent as well. Then the manufacturers got their hands in the mix and TCR became almost as expensive as the GT4 cars, just FWD instead. And the parts went from build them yourself to buy at the parts counter, not a cost savings. The intent was to save money but I think the effect is money will be saved but only because fewer teams can afford to spend the costs to race. But I think it is just a matter of time before that’s going to crush GT4 as well and think you can already see it. Just think it’s easier to sell those cars than TCR to a driver.

      • Larry

        July 8, 2018 at 3:46 pm

        Mo, as mentioned, the class is there and all they can get right now is Audis with an occasional VW.

        You ever seen these cars race in person?

        Boring and sound like crap. I a “hot hatchback” (to borrow from Top Gear) turns you on, fine, go be poor somewhere else.

        I agree with Andy that they need to restore ST and there are plenty of existing and potential ST cars out there including current MX5s and current base Caymans, Minis, and a lot of cars that are more interestng that these FWD econocrap boxes.

        Yep, some of the cars in ST are FWD, but it’s not a requirement.

  2. Tim

    July 7, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    I think people are just disappointed there aren’t more manufacturers participating this year in IMSA. Honda and others chose PWC to debut instead.

    • Andy

      July 7, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      Who else runs exclusively in PWC TCR? The VW and Audi run in both and the Honda is supposed to appear in IMSA later this season but the usual team required applies. Yes, it is double the variety but it isn’t like anyone is beating down the doors to enter TCRs, both series have under 10 full-time entries.

      • Tim

        July 7, 2018 at 8:48 pm

        Doesn’t Hyundai and Alfa also have entries in PWC?

        • Mike

          July 7, 2018 at 9:34 pm

          Alfa is not a full season entry. It’s only there to try to get more people to buy the car. So far no buyers and no Alfa at Portland. Hyundai has two full season entries but it’s a factory deal. So far no customer cars. Honda is single factory car and the second is a rental operation utilized to make the operation to look like it’s for the AM’s but the one car is all pro. As for the VAG contingent (VW/Audi) they are the same car but just a different shell. So, it really is just like watching years ago when a Ford Mustang ran against a Mercuri Capri. We all knew they were the same but liked the idea they were from two divisions of the same company. In the end, Ford won no matter what.

          For IMSA, it’s a C360 fest as they show up with 3 cars when the field gets around 5-7 total. They are a great team but it’s pretty pathetic to watch them run around with barely any competition. Hopefully IMSA gets some more variety in CR next year because as it sits, it’s a snoozefest.

          • Matt

            July 7, 2018 at 11:15 pm

            Yeah you pretty much covered it all. ST racing used to be awesome. An all fwd TCR class with no entries doesn’t fill the void.

  3. Jerry

    July 10, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    And you can be sure that Turner car won’t see any real racing this year. Too valuable to the movie production. Maybe Turner can take it on the press tour too? Their not using it for anything else.

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