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Daytona Friday Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s notebook from Thursday and Friday in TUSC at Daytona…

Photo: Courtesy of IMSA

Photo: Courtesy of IMSA

***The No. 78 Starworks Motorsport Riley-Dinan’s qualifying time was disallowed due to a ride height infraction and unapproved aerodynamic device, which turned out to be a new brake duct installation. According to team owner Peter Baron, the same package is on the Riley-Fords but were not wind tunnel tested on his newly approved Riley-Dinan DP.

***While a star-studded field is set for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, there are a handful of notable absences. On the driver front, names like David Donohue, Bryan Sellers, Romain Dumas, Butch Leitzinger, Guy Smith, Chris Dyson, Johnny Mowlem, Bruno Senna, Luis Diaz, Lawson Aschenbach, Ryan Eversley and others are among those without rides in this year’s race. Team-wise, there’s no Dyson Racing, Brumos Racing or AIM Autosport in their full capacity.

***Those major series or race champions who are racing in the Rolex 24 gathered for the annual champions’ photo shoot on Friday afternoon. However, given the sub-50 degree ambient temperatures, it was largely a mad dash to leave as soon as possible. Riley Motorsports’ Emmanuel Collard was a late arrival to the shoot, but made it in after the first round of shots.

***Level 5 Motorsports/Boardwalk Ferrari’s Scott Tucker won Friday’s opening round of the Ferrari Challenge at Daytona.  It marked the four-time ALMS champion’s 100th career victory. The second Ferrari Challenge race of the weekend occurs Saturday morning from 9:35 to 10:20 a.m. ET.

***Billy Johnson is set to join Scuderia Corsa’s No. 64 Ferrari 458 GT3 alongside Dr. Rod Randall, Ken Wilden, John Farano and David Empringham. Johnson, Farano and Empringham also competed in Friday’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge BMW Performance 200.

***Jonny Adam is also listed as the fifth driver in the No. 009 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage, alongside Calum Lockie, Robert Nimkroff, Pete McIntosh and Max Riddle. Adam tested for the team at the Roar Before the Rolex 24, but was not confirmed on the official Rolex 24 entry list.

***With permission from broadcast partners FOX and IMSA, Magnus Racing’s webcast will return for the full Rolex 24 at Daytona. A combination of insights and snark should occur from The Media Barons’ Sean Heckman, co-host and comedy partner-in-crime Ryan Eversley, and a host of notables expected to stop by the team’s pit stall during the race.

***Eversley, too, is among the Children’s Tumor Foundation Racing4Research (CTF/R4R) program’s biggest effort yet across the two series at Daytona. Some 25 drivers from seven teams will have a form of support for CTF, an organization that helps raise awareness and funding to eliminate the neurofibromatosis (NF) genetic disease.

***2013 FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 Driver’s and 24 Hours of Le Mans champion Martin Plowman isn’t racing this weekend, but has organized an outing for Snowball Express families to come to Daytona. Snowball Express supports the children of fallen military heroes; the organization’s logo is also on the No. 87 BAR1 Motorsports PC class entry this week.

***The two youngest drivers in ALMS history, then-17-year-olds Miles Maroney and James Kovacic in 2011, are both at Daytona in different capacities. Kovacic is part of BAR1’s lineup this race only after testing for PR1/Mathiasen at the Roar; Maroney is exploring his options after competing in a IMSA GT3 Challenge schedule for TruSpeed Motorsports in 2013.

***Martin Brundle is back at Daytona for the first time since 2011, as he supports son Alex in the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing ORECA 03 Nissan. That year he finished fourth overall in a jointly run United Autosports/Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley.

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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