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Watkins Glen CTSC Pre-Race Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s pre-race CTSC notebook from Watkins Glen…

Photo: Tony DiZinno

Photo: Tony DiZinno

***In GS, both Chevrolet and BMW enter Watkins Glen with further Balance of Performance adjustments from IMSA. Chevrolet has had the air restrictor for the Camaro Z/28.R reduced from 65 mm to 60 mm, and its minimum ride height increased by 0.5 inches to 4.0. BMW, meanwhile, has received a 50-pound minimum weight reduction and a 2 mm air restrictor increase (38 mm each for 2 restrictors) to its M3.

***The debuting Ford Shelby GT350R-Cs have a split livery, with green stripes on the white No. 15 car and blue stripes on the white No. 158 car. The origins of the No. 15 car livery date to Comstock Racing in the 1950s and ‘60s, a Canadian factory Ford team which ran Cortinas and Mustangs with the same livery. The green-and-white is expected to continue on the No. 15 car for the rest of the season.

***Dylan Murcott replaces Jon Miller with Rennsport One in the team’s newly re-liveried No. 18 Porsche Cayman alongside Adam Isman this weekend. Miller is not expected to return to the team after the opening three weekends of the year, and is at the World Challenge event in Road America this weekend both coaching and racing.

***Sasha Anis, who fills in for Mark Wilkins at Mantella Autosport, is actually the team’s engineer of the No. 80 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R. Anis also raced at VIRginia International Raceway last year, and set the fastest race lap. Andrew Hall will fill the engineering void this weekend alongside lead engineer Andrew Wojteczko.

***On the heels of the CTSC BoP adjustments, Mantella Autosport team owner and co-driver Anthony Mantella may reevaluate the team’s continued participation after the team’s home race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park next month. “It seems to me to be a bit heavy-handed. Unfortunately, if we are no longer competitive, my plans for the remainder of the season may have to change,” Mantella said.

***LAP Motorsports have made a slight driver lineup alteration in its two Mini JCWs. Stephen Simpson and Zack Meyer will share the No. 37 car, with Remo Ruscitti moving over to the No. 52 car he’ll share with Cody Ellsworth.

***Ruscitti was fortunate to be OK, if a bit sore, following an accident on Friday. Contact between the Canadian’s Mini JCW and another BMW in class sent Ruscitti head-on into the wall on a straight, causing significant front-end damage to the No. 52 car. Despite not setting a qualifying time, the LAP Motorsports team made repairs to allow the team a shot to race.

***Other drivers added since the entry list release include David Russell in the No. 99 Automatic Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 and Rick DeMan in the No. 11 DeMan Motorsport Porsche Cayman.

***Jeff Segal will only be in one of the two Team Sahlen Porsche Caymans for the team’s home race, with Joe Sahlen sharing the No. 43 car with him.

***Besides the debuting Ford Shelby GT350R-C from Multimatic Motorsports, Mantella Autosport and Burton Racing, Strategic Wealth Racing and are among several teams that have spent the eight-week break testing at least once.

***Drivers racing in at least two events this weekend, with the Continental Tire Challenge among them, include Andrew Davis (TUDOR Championship), Spencer Pumpelly (TUDOR Championship), Ken D’Arcy (Lamborghini ST), Corey Lewis (Lamborghini ST) and Dylan Murcott (Lamborghini ST).

***Today’s Continental Tire 150 at Watkins Glen kicks off the busiest portion of the schedule for the series. After racing just three times in five and a half months since the start of January, the Watkins Glen race kicks off a stretch of five races in nine weeks, also featuring appearances at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Lime Rock Park, Road America and VIR.

***Watch today’s fourth race of the season live on at 12:25 p.m. ET, with IMSA Radio also providing live coverage from the track.

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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