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CTMP Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday notebook from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park…

Photo: Brian Cleary/BCPix.com

Photo: Brian Cleary/BCPix.com

***A total of 37 entries are set for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportCar Grand Prix, following the formal withdrawals of the No. 11 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and No. 68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE. The No. 540 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R is also a no-show, due to business conflicts for team owner Tim Pappas.

***Richard Bradley is back in the No. 88 Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09 this weekend, replacing Ashley Freiberg. Bradley impressed in his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut at Watkins Glen and could do additional races for the team. It’s unclear if Freiberg will return to to the team.

***Fabio Babini is filling in for Larry DeGeorge in the No. 27 Dream Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 this weekend, due to business commitments for DeGeorge. It marks the Lamborghini factory driver’s first series start since Sebring. Co-driver Cedric Sbirrazzuoli told Sportscar365 DeGeorge will return for Lime Rock Park.

***Dream’s Lamborghini did not take part in the Six Hours of The Glen, due to its primary car getting destroyed in an accident by DeGeorge. The team prepped its spare chassis on-site but was not allowed to start.

***The No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09 has been rebuilt following its heavy accident at Watkins Glen. The team spent two days putting the car back together in New York before traveling to CTMP, according to team owner Brian Alder, who confirmed the car did not sustain any tub damage.

***Alder told Sportscar365 that the team is close to confirming a second BAR1 entry for Circuit of The Americas and Petit Le Mans. It would be with its second chassis, which will be upgraded to the latest electronics and engine package. Parts of that car were used by JDC-Miller Motorsports at Detroit and returned post-race.

***Balance of Performance has continued to be a hot topic in the paddock, in the wake of changes made in GTLM for this weekend. With no adjustments to the Ferrari 488 GTE, other than one-liter increase in fuel capacity, Risi Competizione’s Toni Vilander has expressed continued concerns: “I just want to be with the others on [speed]. When there’s a 3-5 mph top speed gap, it’s difficult to race.”

***Vilander said the Ferrari 488 GTE could be at a BoP disadvantage due to the lack of lobbying power from the Italian manufacturer, which is the only automaker without a full factory effort in the GTLM class.

***Joann Villeneuve, wife of the late Formula 1 legend Gilles and mother of 1997 Formula 1 Champion Jacques Villeneuve, has been named Grand Marshal for Sunday’s race.

***Nearly all of the special liveries from Watkins Glen are still being used this weekend, including the stars-and-stripes No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM and both throwback designs on the Mazda prototypes.

***Mazda Motorsports Director John Doonan told Sportscar365 that both Mazdas are scheduled to return to their normal colors for the next round at Road America, but an exception could be made. “If we can have some success this weekend, it might be a good sell to keep them,” he told Sportscar365.

***Bill Riley confirmed to Sportscar365 that a total of seven Dodge Viper GT3-Rs have been built, with six in active competition, and one still un-raced at Riley’s shop. The legacy of the Viper in IMSA competition is likely to come to a close at the end of the year, following the news that Ben Keating will not return with the car in 2017.

***While the majority of European drivers remained in North America between races, both Renger van der Zande and Jeroen Bleekemolen flew to Spa to take part in the official Total 24 Hours of Spa test day on Tuesday, before flying to Toronto.

***Drivers and team principals from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing will be visiting Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. on Tuesday to present its 24 Hours of Le Mans trophy to employees. Included will be GTE-Pro race winners Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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