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Michelin Pilot Challenge

Road Atlanta CTSC Weekend Notebook

John Dagys’ weekend notebook from Continental Tire Challenge…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

***A heavy crash for the No. 54 JDC-Miller Motorsports BMW 228i of Michael Johnson, which made heavy contact with the wall in qualifying, has put the car out for the remainder of the weekend. Johnson was evaluated and released from the accident, which brought an early end to the ST class qualifying session.

***Both the GS and ST qualifying sessions did not resume after red flags. Per IMSA rules, there is no longer a minimum green flag time for sessions to be official.

***In addition to the JDC-Miller BMW, the No. 21 Muehlner Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport has also been withdrawn, after Peter Ludwig’s accident in GS qualifying.

***Rebel Rock Racing returns to the GS class this weekend for the final appearance for the Porsche 997 in the class, with Ethan Low and Casey Carden at the wheel. It marks Low’s class debut after spending the year in ST class machinery with a variety of teams.

***The team has also adjusted its ST class lineup, with Lee Carpentier and Kieron O’Rourke back in the No. 7 Porsche Cayman after their initial run at Lime Rock Park in July. Theo Bean and Robin Liddell have remained in the No. 8 entry.

***Aurora Strauss is set for her second series start, joining Justin Piscitell in the No. 18 RS1 Porsche Cayman. Strauss made her debut for RS1 earlier this season, finishing eighth with Piscitell at Watkins Glen.

***There’s also been changes to the driver lineups at C360R and HART, with Tom Dyer joining Roy Block in the No. 75 Audi S3 and Cameron Lawrence and Ryan Eversley swapping Honda Civic Sis at HART.

***Billy Johnson and Scott Maxwell will need to only complete the minimum drive time of 45 minutes to be crowned GS class champions. It would be Multimatic Motorsport’s third title (2002, 2005) as well as Maxwell’s third (2002, 2008).

***The GS manufacturers championship, however, is far from over, with Ford holding a scant three-point lead over Porsche. C3650R’s Ford Shelby GT350R-C, qualified by Pierre Kleinubing, could play a factor in the title race.

***The MINI JCWs have been given a one-liter increase in fuel capacity, in the latest round of BoP adjustments.

***Mark Pombo’s No. 37 MINI JCW will be crewed by four military veterans. The car will be co-sponsored by Hire Heroes USA. Army veterans Danny Gordon, Blake Cash and Marsha Dickerson will be joined by Navy vet Ryan Blowers on the car co-driven by Pombo and Nate Norenberg.

***Headquartered just north of Atlanta, Hire Heroes USA has built a national reputation of excellence for helping veterans find jobs, currently at the rate of more than 100 vets confirmed hired every week. The company provides services at no cost to any U.S. military member, veteran or spouse transitioning to the work force.

***Be sure to download Andy Blackmore’s official IMSA Spotter’s Guide for this weekend, featuring all 36 Continental Tire Challenge entries for the race. Click Here to view.

***Watch tomorrow’s race live on beginning at 12:25 p.m. ET. The two-and-a-half hour race will be televised on Sun. Oct. 9 at 11 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

***Continental Tire Challenge champions will be honored at its end-of-season banquet on Friday evening, at the Chateau Elan Winery and Resort in Braselton.

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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