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CTSC VIR Weekend Notebook

John Dagys’ CTSC weekend notebook from VIR…

Photo: Scott LePage/IMSA

***Team TGM, which makes its first Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race start since Watkins Glen, has returned to a two-car capacity, with Hugh Plumb and Guy Cosmo driving a freshly rebuilt all-white Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR. Both cars took part in Thursday’s Promoter Test Day, with attention being shifted to the No. 4 car for the official sessions.

***While not initially being on the entry list, the No. 68 Motorsport In Action McLaren 570S GT4 will race, with Kenny Wilden and Rod Randall at the wheel. It has resulted in a total of 14-car GS class entry for this afternoon’s Biscuitville Grand Prix. Click Here for the provisional grid.

***Mazda factory driver Tom Long makes his first Continental Tire Challenge start of the year in the No. 27 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 alongside full-season driver Britt Casey Jr. Long qualified 11th on the ST class grid.

***It’s been a challenging weekend for the pair of C360R McLarens. The No. 77 entry missed qualifying after a turbo hose came loose, just hours after an exhaust clamp broke and melted tubing. The No. 76 McLaren, meanwhile, stopped on track in qualifying with a suspected dead coil.

***New GS championship leaders RS1 also had a tough Friday, with gearbox issues halting the Dillon Machavern and Dylan Murcott-driven Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR in practice, although Murcott managed to qualify third. The pairing seek their first victory of the season.

***A number of Continental Tire Challenge teams are looking to put the weather-shortened Road America race behind them, with questions still surrounding IMSA’s decision not to restart the race after lightning brought out an eventual race-ending red flag. The sanctioning body issued a statement earlier this month, stating it will consider modifying its protocol for resuming on-track activity in the future.

***IMSA has made a handful of minor Balance of Performance adjustments for this weekend, most notably 1-gallon fuel capacity increases for both the BMW 228i and 328i models, along with a 1 mmm larger refueling restrictor for the two Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport versions.

***Operation Motorsport, a new nonprofit organization to help place ill and injured service members in motorsports, has placed several veterans within the IMSA paddock this weekend, including ex-Army service member Alex Zachman, who has been embedded with CJ Wilson Racing this weekend. Zachman has taken over CJWR’s Instagram account and has been working alongside its Director of PR & Marketing, Declan Brennan.

***A number of other locally-based service members have been placed with teams in the Continental Tire Challenge paddock, including Freedom Autosport.  “We have seen the true and positive impact that connecting service members to motorsports has on their recovery and rehabilitation, and we are committed to providing respite, rehabilitation, vocational support and training to those affected by military operations within the framework of motorsport,” said  Tiffany Lodder, Executive Director, Operation Motorsport.

***Retired Marine Staff Sgt. Liam Dwyer, who drives the No. 26 Mazda for Freedom Autosport, is set to undergo post-season surgery to his left leg, which he lost in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. Dwyer’s surgery is scheduled for the Tuesday after Road Atlanta, with a projected six-month recovery time likely ruling him out of the 2018 season-opener at Daytona. Dwyer has targeted a return to the wheel at Sebring in March.

***Watch the Biscuitville Grand Prix live on, beginning at 2 p.m. ET. The race will air on FS1 on Sept. 3 at 9 a.m. ET.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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