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VIR Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday notebook from Virginia International Raceway…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***A third red-and-white liveried Viper was spotted in the SRT Motorsports garage today, although it will not race on Sunday. Instead, the FIA GT3-spec Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R, which won last month’s Pirelli World Challenge round in Toronto with Kuno Wittmer, will be testing at VIR on Monday with prospective new clients for 2015. The No. 33 entry, meanwhile, remains in its white and blue livery this weekend.

***Kyle Marcelli has received a late call-up from Starworks Motorsport and will join Martin Fuentes in the No. 7 Oreca FLM09 this weekend. The Canadian driver, who drove for the Peter Baron-led squad at the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, replaces John Martin, who teamed with Fuentes in the last three TUDOR United SportsCar Championship rounds.

***With Seth Neiman still not fully healed from a hip injury at Indianapolis, Spencer Pumpelly will pull double-duty between both Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS cars this weekend. Pumpelly, who will also be making his commentating debut for the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Series, will start the race in the No. 35 Audi and hand over to Dion von Moltke before taking over his points-scoring No. 45 car from Nelson Canache.

***IMSA has implemented NASCAR’s new safety policy of prohibiting drivers from exiting their vehicles after an incident, when stopped or near the racing surface, unless in emergency circumstances. It follows in the wake of the highly publicized accident involving Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr., which claimed the life of the 20-year-old sprint car driver after he was run over by the NASCAR star.

***While the Prototype class takes a weekend off, championship contender Jordan Taylor has found his way into a car at VIR, as the GM factory driver fills in for Lawson Aschenbach in the No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro Z/28.R with Eric Curran. Aschenbach is on Pirelli World Challenge duty this weekend at Sonoma Raceway as he chases the GTS class championship.

***TRG-AMR and Scuderia Corsa, meanwhile, are pulling double-duty between VIR and Sonoma this weekend, with cars entered in both TUDOR Championship and World Challenge races. The Kevin Buckler-led squad is in fact fielding a total of eight Aston Martins spread between four classes and three series, including its CTSC entry.

***VIR marks the return of Alex Tagliani to the wheel of the No. 08 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09, and the first driver suspended by IMSA to rejoin the series. Gaston Kearby and Matteo Malucelli, who were forced to sit out one race after separate incidents at Sebring, did not return to their respective rides following their suspensions.

*** will live stream both segments of the Prototype Challenge/Prototype Lites race this weekend. Tune in at 5:15 p.m. ET on Saturday for the first 45-minute heat, while the points and race-deciding segment will begin Sunday at 10:45 a.m. ET. The two-hour and 45-minute GTLM/GTD feature, meanwhile, will take place Sunday at 4 p.m. ET, live on FOX Sports 1.

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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