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Monterey CTSC Pre-Race Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s CTSC notebook prior to its third race of the season…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

***Turner Motorsport is down to a single GS class BMW M3 following the decision of Paul Dalla Lana to focus primarily on his FIA World Endurance Championship commitments. The team’s No. 97 entry of Tom Kimber-Smith and Michael Marsal continues unaffected, although will start from the back of today’s race following an engine issue in qualifying.

***Kimber-Smith, while not in 8Star Motorsports’ PC car this weekend, still begins a hectic stretch of races this weekend. He’ll race here, have a single off weekend, then race Imola on May 18 in ELMS with Greaves Motorsport, head back to Lime Rock May 24 in CTSC, go to the Le Mans test day June 1 with Greaves, come back to Kansas June 7 in CTSC and return to Le Mans June 14-15 for the 24-hour race.

***CJ Wilson and driver Marc Miller were on site this weekend for CJ Wilson Racing. For Wilson it was a rare in-season appearance given his baseball commitments; meanwhile Miller continues his recovery following his Sebring accident. Elliott Skeer fills in as he makes his series debut; the CJWR team spent 500 combined man hours rebuilding the front half of the No. 3 MX-5 following Sebring.

***Tim Bell, co-driver of the No. 28 Tim Bell Racing Nissan 370Z with Dane Cameron, will make his Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series debut this weekend in the No. 81 Mitchum Motorsports entry.

***Freedom Autosport debuts its third Mazda MX-5 this weekend for Staff Sgt. Liam Dwyer and team veteran Tom Long, the No. 27 entry. The team seeks its second straight win after Randy Pobst and Andrew Carbonell took the No. 26 MX-5 to victory at Sebring.

***Mikey Taylor returns for his first CTSC race since Road Atlanta last April in an APR Volkswagen Jetta. He’ll race this weekend in an ST class No. 50 BERG Racing Porsche Cayman this weekend with Pete McIntosh.

***James Vance switches from BERG Racing to Compass360 Racing this race and for the rest of the season, joining Jon Miller in C360R’s No. 74 Honda Civic Si in ST.

***Oregon native Derek DeBoer steps into TRG-AMR’s No. 09 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 alongside James Davison. DeBoer will race selected events for the balance of the season and is already Davison’s third co-driver in as many races, following Joel Janco (Daytona) and Kenneth Greenberg (Sebring).

***Al Carter was set to pull quadruple duty between a Rebel Rock Racing’s No. 7 Porsche 997 (GS), No. 87 Porsche Cayman (ST), the No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage in the TUDOR Championship GTD class and the No. 80 Mitchum Motorsports/Lamborghini Palm Beach entry in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series. But he’s down to triple duty with Charles Espenlaub stepping in alongside Miles Maroney in the No. 87 car.

***Espenlaub, meanwhile is on triple duty as well. In CTSC, he’ll start the No. 99 Automatic Racing Aston Martin Vantage in GS, stop after 30 minutes to hand over to Rob Ecklin, then will finish the race in the No. 87 Rebel Rock Porsche ST car once Maroney is out of the seat. He’ll also race Fall-Line Motorsports’ No. 46 Audi R8 LMS in Sunday’s TUDOR Championship race, co-driving with Charlie Putman.

***There are 10 drivers pulling double duty between the TUDOR Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge races. They include: Carter, Espenlaub, Davison, Long, Andrew Davis, Andy Lally, Matt Bell, Dane Cameron, John Edwards, and Michael Valiante.

***Ryan Eversley was set to join that list, but his BAR1 Motorsports team has withdrawn due to an accident in TUDOR Championship first practice by his co-driver. Meanwhile Bell is a late add to this list after he received late confirmation to drive Muehlner Motorsports America’s No. 18 Porsche 911 GT America in the TUDOR Championship.

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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