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Michelin Pilot Challenge

Daytona CTSC Weekend Notebook

Ryan Myrehn’s CTSC weekend notebook from Daytona…

Photo: C360R

Photo: C360R

***The new Ford Mustang GT4 turned its first-ever laps in wet conditions on Saturday with both full-season drivers Scott Maxwell and Jade Buford sampling the the car in rainy conditions. The duo turned eight laps, and focussed on dialing in the brake settings in the rain. It also marked the first time the new Mustang had run on Continental rain tires.

***The No. 35 CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport missed Sunday’s final test session after an accident by Russell Ward in the morning while entering the bus-stop. “I think I was on the power a little too early and got on a little bit of oversteer, I tried to correct it and due to pure driver error I ended up tagging the wall,” Ward said.

***While GMG has been a stalwart competitor in multiple sports car racing series,  2017 marks its debut in Continental Tire Challenge SportsCar Challenge. Team principal James Sofronas told Sportscar365 they are confirmed for Daytona, with the possibility additional races alongside a planned three-or-four car Pirelli World Challenge program this year.

***Sofronas said IMSA’s adoption of SRO GT4 regulations brought him to the table, and he expects other owners to follow. “I love the GT4 platform,” Sofronas said. “I can tell you right now, it’s the future of sports car racing. This field will double by 2018.”

***A brand-new team, Motorsports In Action (MIA), made its series debut at the Roar. Just how new is the team? “We received out first car on December 23rd,” said Chris Green, who is part of the driver lineup and also a partner in the team. Defending Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Canada champion Jesse Lazare turned in the team’s fastest time, good enough for 11th overall.

***Multiple McLaren teams worked through issues with their traction control systems as the British cars came to grips with the unique characteristics of Daytona. “Going through the banking, the car thought that was flipping upside down,” said Green. “They don’t have banking like this in England where they tested the car initially but we’re going through that.”

***Five-time Indianapolis 500 starter Pippa Mann made her Continental Tire Challenge debut in a LAP MotorSports MINI JCW. The team’s lead engineer Rob Ridgley has served as Mann’s engineer in the ‘500’, and helped to broker the arrangement for her to fill in when space became available in the last session of the roar test.

***Mann said she enjoyed the her first competitive outing in a sports car since running a handful of races in Porsche Carrera Cup GB in 2008, but said there are no further outings planned. “For now, this is just dipping my toe in the water,” she told Sportscar365. “It’s just really cool to get to do this.”

***Cameron Lawrence’s 97-total laps across the three days was the most of any driver in a single entry across both classes, although several drivers turned laps in multiple cars.

***An Audi RS 3 LMS has been on display in both the WeatherTech Championship and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge paddock this weekend. It is the first example of a TCR car to be featured in the IMSA paddock, with the platform poised to launch in the Continental Tire Challenge series in 2018. Selected cars are expected to be eligible in Pirelli World Challenge this year.

John Dagys contributed to this report

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is the lead announcer for SRO America's TV coverage as well as a pit reporter for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.


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