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COTA TUSC Wednesday Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s Wednesday notebook from the COTA TUDOR paddock…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Minimum drive time for the GT Daytona drivers has been dropped from 60 minutes to 50 minutes for this race, per the event supplementary regulations. The Prototype Challenge minimum drive time remains at 60 minutes.

***Fuel capacity for Prototype Challenge cars has been set back to the standard 80-liter number, after being increased to 90 liters for the pair of 45-minute sprint races at Virginia International Raceway.

***New IMSA staff members Simon Hodgson and Beaux Barfield make their respective returns to the paddock this weekend in official series capacities. Hodgson, former general manager of Wayne Taylor Racing, debuts as IMSA’s Managing Director, Racing Operations while Barfield will serve as Race Director for both the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series. Barfield most recently served as a strategist for NGT Motorsport at both Daytona and Sebring, and resumes in Race Control alongside Scot Elkins and Paul Walter, as they had in the American Le Mans Series most recently in 2011.

***BAR1 Motorsports will see its second Prototype Challenge car, the No. 87 Oreca FLM09, back in action for the first time since the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Martin Plowman returns for the first time since Indianapolis, and his new co-driver is Marc Drumwright, who has Porsche GT3 Cup race experience. Plowman, Drumwright and Tomy Drissi tested at Road Atlanta last week.

***The No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports Audi R8 LMS in GTD is withdrawn, per Fall-Line team manager Michael Harvey. Silver-rated driver Charlie Putman was injured in an accident and the team could not find suitable replacement drivers. Harvey confirmed the team plans to race the car at Petit Le Mans, although the driver lineup there is to be determined.

***Porsche North America is planning to field a third factory Porsche 911 RSR for Petit Le Mans as well, according to Porsche Motorsport North America President Jens Walther. The lineup for the car has yet to be determined and will be a collaborative decision between Porsche NA and Porsche AG. Fred Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet will share driving duties of the No. 910 car this weekend.

***Porsche has also confirmed Richard Lietz will be unable to race this weekend, although the Austrian has had his cast removed. Nick Tandy and Jorg Bergmeister will share the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, with Bergmeister also listed as a third driver in the No. 910 on the TUDOR Championship side. The same pairing will also share the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR in the FIA World Endurance Championship race, following Porsche’s recent reshuffling of its GTE-Pro lineup.

***The Porsche 911 GT America has received a series of aero updates ahead of this weekend, including a larger front splitter and wider front fenders with cutouts. Park Place Motorsports tested the updated last week at COTA, while both Dempsey Racing and Magnus Racing were on hand at Road Atlanta, with all teams repairing positive improvements, according to Walther.

***Ford has rolled out revised engine mounting components for its factory entries from Chip Ganassi Racing and Michael Shank Racing. The new engine mount spacers, tested for the first time on the Shank Riley DP at Mid-Ohio last week, offers a 56 percent reduction in the weight of the original parts.

***Muehlner Motorsports America will see Khaled Al Qubaisi and Larry Pegram in the No. 18 and Mark Klenin and Alec Udell in the No. 19 Porsche 911 GT America this weekend. All bar Klenin make their first TUDOR Championship start this weekend; Klenin makes his second start after his first at Road America in August.

John Dagys contributed to this report

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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