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CTMP Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ first notebook from WeatherTech SportsCar Championship action at CTMP…

Photo: John Dagys

***After an initial 27-car entry list, this weekend’s Chevrolet Grand Prix is set to feature 24 entries, following the withdrawals of Wright Motorsports and CarBahn with Peregrine Racing. The No. 7 Forty7 Motorsports Duqueine D08 Nissan of Anthony Mantella and Matt Bell has also been pulled, with Mantella instead focusing on his IMSA Prototype Challenge commitments this weekend.

***AWA, which sustained heavy damage to its Duqueine following Lars Kern’s crash at Watkins Glen, rebuilt the LMP3 car on-site at Watkins Glen following the race. The Canadian squad then drove straight to CTMP. AWA did not need to go to a spare chassis according to a team spokesperson.

***Bryan Sellers is “good to go” in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 this weekend despite the car landing on his right foot during a driver change last weekend. Sellers completed the final stint visibly in pain at Watkins Glen. He and co-driver Madison Snow currently lead the WeatherTech Sprint Cup points standings. 

***Jr III Racing it utilizing one of its IPC chassis this weekend after its WeatherTech Championship entry caught fire during a pit stop at The Glen. The tight turnaround between events led the reason to instead make repairs to the Ligier LMP3 car at its newly-expanded shop in Mooresville, N.C. following this weekend.

***Following the series of withdrawals, the six-car GTD class is the smallest in recent history. Season-long points are not scored in the class this weekend with GTD teams only vying for Sprint Cup points.

***Despite Wright’s withdrawal due members of its team, including driver Ryan Hardwick being unvaccinated, Porsche maintains its streak of having at least one entry in every IMSA road racing event held since the series’ founding, thanks to Pfaff Motorsports’ GTD Pro class effort.

***Numerous unvaccinated crew members from multiple teams have been replaced by substitutes this weekend due to Canada’s entry requirements. The majority of teams were dealt with having to find substitute truck drivers, for instance.

***Riley Motorsports team principal Bill Riley told Sportscar365: “It hasn’t been easy. It’s very similar to trying to organize a trip to Le Mans because of all the work you have to do and all the time [we spent] on this is a bit crazy. I know there’s lots of obligations IMSA has to adhere to and obviously we have to respect that. But [going to CTMP] puts the teams under a lot of strain.”

***Riley said all of their over-the-wall crew for the No. 74 Ligier JS P320 Nissan of Gar Robinson and Scott Andrews are unchanged from a normal weekend but the team has had to source replacement truck drivers, hospitality and other support personnel. “As an employer, I’m not going to force any of my employees to get a vaccination if they don’t want to,” Riley said. 

***The Michelin Pilot Challenge entry has been reduced to 33 cars, with both KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4s not making the trip and No. 21 Riley Motorsports Toyota GR Supra GT4 also not present. A total of ten IPC entries are due to take part this weekend, down from the initial 14 that were on the pre-event entry list.

***Kamui Kobayashi, who is filling in for Jack Hawksworth in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 this weekend, flew back to Europe earlier this week for a “quite an important meeting” and simulator session at Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe in Cologne, Germany ahead of next weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship round at Monza.

***The Japanese star, who also serves as team principal for the manufacturer’s WEC Hypercar class program, took part in last weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in the No. 48 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, finishing sixth. He turned his first laps in the GT3-spec Lexus on Friday after only arriving at the circuit for the first time this morning.

***Chip Ganassi Racing’s Renger van der Zande revealed that he was expecting the Cadillac to get a Balance of Performance break for this weekend. IMSA elected to keep the DPi class unchanged for the first time this season. “When I saw the BoP coming out, I expected us to get a bit of a BoP break,” he said. “Mosport is one of those tracks where the aero platform is what you need; you need a fast car. I was hoping and expecting a bit more from that.”

***Friday’s running marked Matt Campbell’s first laps of CTMP, although co-driver Mathieu Jaminet completed a two-day test at the circuit in Pfaff Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R last month during the week of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The first day was largely rained out, however. 

***More than 300 guests of Pfaff are on hand this weekend to support the Canadian team, which hosted an open-house at at facility on Wednesday. “The team is putting a lot of effort into this event,” said Campbell.

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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