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Daytona CTSC Pre-Race Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s pre-race CTSC notebook from Daytona…

Photo: Action Sports Photography

Photo: Action Sports Photography

***The rainy conditions on Thursday provided the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge its first crack at qualifying in the rain, following an offseason rule change. Last year, qualifying was not run the rain and the field set by entrant points.

***Scott Maxwell (GS) and Seth Thomas (ST) led Friday’s 20-minute morning warmup session, with no major incidents. Results are linked here.

***Ahead of the team’s first start with its No. 33 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, CJ Wilson Racing team principal CJ Wilson is here and not only playing team principal, but tour guide for six members of ONE Capital, who are here this weekend. The team’s second Cayman GT4 Clubsport is also here, in its white livery from an Andy Blackmore Design rendering.

***Compass360 Racing’s No. 76 Ford Shelby GT350R-C debuts its new Children’s Tumor Foundation “Art Car” livery this weekend. It ran in the same white and blue Multimatic Motorsports livery at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test, from the previous No. 158 Multimatic entry.

***Defending ST class champions Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer only took their first laps in Freedom Autosport’s No. 25 Mazda MX-5 during Wednesday’s practice. The pair shifted from CJ Wilson Racing for the 2016 season.

***Meanwhile another Mazda team, Alara Racing, has announced a two-car program for the season. Both the team’s No. 34 and 43 MX-5s are on site at Daytona, while only the No. 34 car is set to run, in the hands of Christian Szymczak and Justin Piscitell.

***Piscitell, as ever, was a last-minute nomination to the No. 34 car ahead of this race. He won the first four ST poles in the 2015 season.

***The pair of Rebel Rock Racing lineups has swapped cars. Robin Liddell and Elliott Skeer have switched from the No. 7 to the No. 8 Porsche Cayman, with Jim Jonsin and Michael Mathe in the No. 7 car. Rebel Rock’s No. 6 GS car, a Porsche 997, has been withdrawn.

***The second Porsche Cayman run by Goldcrest Motorsports, recently acquired from DeMan Motorsport, is entered as the No. 22 Kris Wright Racing with Goldcrest Motorsports car for Andy Lee and Wright. Goldcrest also runs the No. 36 Strategic Wealth Racing Cayman for Corey Lewis and Matthew Dicken.

***DeMan Motorsport, which tested with a Porsche Cayman GT4-R and the ST class Cayman at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test, is not here this weekend with any Cayman.

***Another car absent from the Roar is Bodymotion Racing’s No. 12 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, with Trent Hindman and Cameron Cassels slated to drive for the full season. Hindman is here while Cassels is not, owing to a family commitment.

***Don’t expect Racers Edge Motorsports at any further Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge races for the foreseeable future, as they test and prepare their new SIN R1 GT4s for World Challenge. Team principal Jon Mirachi told Sportscar365 the team sold all but one of their Ford Mustang Boss 302Rs, but with one locally owned car available and Sunoco Challenge winner Paddy McClughan in the one car they do own, the team is making another “this might be the last time” race for its two cars.

***The withdrawals of the Nos. 6, 12 and 72 Porsches from GS have seen what could have been an 11-car GS field reduced to eight cars. Meanwhile the addition of the second Goldcrest Cayman brings the ST field to 29 cars. The net changes keep the field at just 37 cars for the season opener.

***Fall-Line Motorsports team manager Michael Harvey is here this weekend in the Continental Tire Challenge paddock even though there’s no immediate plans for the team, the 2014 GS class champions and 2014 Daytona race winners, in the pipeline. Harvey told Sportscar365 in November that the team would likely wait to see how GS develops for 2016.

***Between the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Continental Tire has brought 7,000 tires brought to the track (dry & wet) in total. This is about four times more than any other race weekend. The Continental Tire Challenge remains on the same compounds as last year, at all tracks, for the full season.

***A total of seven drivers will pull double duty between the two races. Marc Miller and Jeroen Bleekemolen will race in GS and GTD, while Robin Liddell, Jeff Mosing, Eric Foss, Spencer Pumpelly and Corey Lewis will race in ST and GTD.

***See the new liveries for the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge field as part of Andy Blackmore’s Spotter Guides for IMSA. The guide is linked here.

***Today’s BMW Performance 200 will be streamed live at IMSA.TV, with IMSA Radio providing live radio coverage. TV coverage airs Saturday, February 13, at 8:30 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony

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