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CTMP Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday notebook from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

***Sunday’s Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park has been reduced to a 34-car field, with the No. 47 PPM Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo also a no-show following the withdrawals of the No. 19 Moorespeed and No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos.

***It has resulted in a 13-car GTD field for the third round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup.

***The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R battled a clutch issue in Friday morning’s practice session, with Pipo Derani completing only 19 laps. It returned to action in the shortened second practice session.

***Practice 2 was shortened by more than 20 minutes due to the track surface breaking apart in Turn 2. Attention was also being made to Turn 5 in the heat-soaked session, which saw ambient temperatures in excess of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 

***Marcel Fassler, who is subbing for the injured Tommy Milner this weekend, revealed that he was due to take part in the 2008 American Le Mans Series race at Mosport but had a clashing race in the FIA GT Championship driving a Phoenix Carsport Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6.R.

***With Milner not driving this weekend, it means Oliver Gavin will become the third different GTLM driver to go on solo points, joining Dirk Mueller and Connor De Phillippi.

***Mueller’s regular co-driver Joey Hand missed the Long Beach and Mid-Ohio rounds due to an illness, while visa issues denied Tom Blomqvist from competing in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona in the No. 25 Team RLL BMW M8 GTE.

***Despite initial concern that a new chassis would be needed, the No. 25 BMW has been repaired following its race-ending flash fire at Watkins Glen. The team made a detour to its workshop in Ohio for the rebuild.

***A number of IMSA drivers have had a busy week, having traveled to the Total 24 Hours of Spa Test Days in between the Watkins Glen and CTMP events. Among the drivers included Derani, Renger van der Zande, Oliver Jarvis, Tristan Vautier, John Edwards, Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor, Jack Hawksworth, Mario Farnbacher and Toni Vilander.

***The pair of factory Porsche 911 RSRs are running in the Brumos Racing celebration liveries for the fourth and final race this season. The popular design has gained its own social media hashtag: #RedWhiteandBrumos.

***Porsche is set to take the wraps off its new-generation GTE car tomorrow at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The car is expected to debut in the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship prior to it becoming eligible for WeatherTech Championship competition in 2020.

***Compass Racing tested at CTMP last month with its McLaren 720S GT3 in its recently adjusted Balance of Performance configuration, according to team principal Karl Thomson, who said they felt the “pace and balance” of the car was good.

***Thomson said a decision on its participation in the Motul Petit Le Mans has not yet been made. “As the car gets closer to the pointy end of the stick, those chances increase greatly,” he told Sportscar365. “Nobody wants to drive around in a 10th place car.”

***Michelin has brought around 5,000 tires this weekend, totaling 10 tractor trailers, for the event which also includes the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and Michelin-shod IMSA Prototype Challenge races.

***DPi/LMP2 and GTLM competitors are limited to ten sets of slick tires this weekend, with GTD teams able to use up to seven sets of Michelin Pilot Sport GT S9M commercial tires. DPi and LMP2 teams are again on the designated IMSA Hard compound.

***The back-to-back IMSA event, and upcoming GT-only race at Lime Rock Park, has created a lot of “front-end” logistics according to Michelin North America motorsports technical director Ken Payne. “The trucks leave South Carolina a week before Watkins Glen and then don’t come back until after Lime Rock. There’s essentially no time in-between,” he said.

***SiriusXM Canada has come aboard as a sponsor on the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo for the second year in a row at CTMP.

***Lars Kern set a new production car lap record at CTMP on Monday. The Porsche test driver completed a 1:22.360 lap time in a Porsche 911 GT2 RS prepared by Pfaff Porsche and on road-legal Michelin tires. It marked the third track lap record smashed so far for Porsche in North America, following runs at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and Road America earlier this year.

***Former Patron Spirits CEO and Tequila Patron ESM team co-principal Ed Brown has become the chairman of Surterra Wellness, an Atlanta-based medical marijuana company. It comes in addition to his appointment as chairman of ClearSports, a golf ball company, made earlier this year.

***Leigh Diffey returns to the NBC Sports booth for this weekend’s first live network television broadcast, alongside Calvin Fish and A.J. Allmendinger. Kevin Lee and Jon Beekhuis will be serving as pit lane reporters.

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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