***Friday’s pair of opening practice sessions have seen P2 cars dominate the time charts, with Gustavo Yacaman taking the No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan to a quick lap of 1:09.853. However, there could be even more time left in the French prototype, as Martin Plowman scored P2 class pole in the 2012 ALMS race here with a 1:08.853 lap time, coming in a near-identical Onroak Automotive-built car.
***Surprisingly, Sunday’s Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix marks the first two-hour and 45-minute “regular length” race of the season and the first of five consecutive in that format. GTD drivers must complete a minimum drive time of 60 minutes to be eligible for classification and points, with P/GTLM drivers needing at least 20 minutes.
***With a large disparity in fuel capacity for GTD cars (ranging from 86 to 104 liters), it will be interesting to see what affect, if any, stint length could have on the drive time requirements. The Porsche 911 GT America and BMW Z4 GT3 were both given 3 liter larger fuel capacity prior to Watkins Glen, while the Audi R8 LMS lost 2 liters. No changes have been made since The Glen.
***The FIA and ACO held separate GTE and GT3 manufacturer’s meetings this week in Paris, in an effort to finalize any proposed changes to the regulations for 2016 and beyond. While GT Convergence may officially be off, it’s understood there’s still an initiative to bring the two platforms as close together. New chassis rules for GTE, based around the original convergence talks, has been one of the main points of discussion.
***Word came in this week that longtime steward Pete Lyon passed away on June 17. Lyon, who was an attorney specializing in risk management and legal counsel in motorsports, had worked with the Panoz-owned IMSA, as well as other motorsport entities including SCCA and NHRA.
***A handful of TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competitors invaded downtown Toronto for the annual RaceFest. The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP, No. 4 Corvette Racing C7.R and No. 555 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 were among the cars on display at Yonge-Dundas Square, which also saw a live pit stop demonstration for the GTLM Corvette with local hero, and CTMP co-owner, Ron Fellows at the wheel.
***TUDOR Championship Senior Series Manager Gary Cummings resigned from IMSA last week. The longtime GRAND-AM official has taken a job with Scuderia Corsa as its new Head of Competition.
***The No. 18 Muehlner Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America is being driven this weekend by Canadians Mark Thomas and Chris Green. Azerbaijan-based Thomas returns to the Bernhard Muhlner-led squad after making previous starts in GRAND-AM competition.
***Despite Prototype Challenge cars not being in action this weekend, Continental Tire has still turned up in force, having brought approximately 3,000 tires to CTMP to accommodate both the TUDOR Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. Of those, 800 are wet weather tires, which could very well be needed on Sunday, which calls for a 50 percent chance of showers.
***Canadian fans not able to make it to the circuit this weekend will be able to watch live streaming coverage of Sunday’s race via IMSA.com, beginning at 2 p.m. ET. The coverage is currently for this event only, with SPEED carrying the TUDOR Championship on cable TV across the country.
***Fans everywhere may access live streaming of TUDOR Championship qualifying on Saturday beginning at 5:20 p.m. ET, the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race on Saturday at 1:15 p.m. ET and live streaming of in-car cameras & MRN audio during the race on Sunday on IMSA.com.