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Daytona Pre-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ pre-race notebook for 57th Rolex 24 at Daytona…

Photo: Sam Cobb/BMW

***Both of the Team RLL BMW M8 GTEs are running tributes to longtime Schnitzer team principal Charly Lamm, who passed away on Thursday. The front of the GT Le Mans class contenders are carrying black strips, with the words “Godspeed, Charly” on the rear-end. BMW i Andretti Motorsport is also paying tribute to Lamm in today’s ABB FIA Formula E race in Santiago.

***Pfaff Motorsports has picked up sponsorship from Canadian poutine chain Smoke’s Poutinerie, which serves its food in similar “buffalo check” patterned containers. When fans started tagging the chain on social media earlier this week, team manager Steve Bortolotti reached out to the restaurant and a deal was reached.

***The Starworks Motorsport Audi R8 LMS Evo is the same chassis that Ryan Dalziel and Parker Chase used to win the Blancpain GT World Challenge SprintX Pro-Am championship last year, updated to the 2019 Evo specification.

***Dalziel has made 13 previous Rolex 24 starts, all consecutively, but this weekend marks his first in a GT car.

***Precision Performance Motorsports has the only lineup in the GT Daytona class field that includes two Bronze-rated drivers and no Silvers. It is the first trip to the U.S. for Sunoco Whelen Challenge winner Linus Lundqvist, who makes his GT3 debut.

***Twenty-seven different nationalities and all six permanently inhabited continents are represented in the race. 

***In addition to the two teams in Black Swan Racing and Spirit of Race, a total of 20 drivers are set for the Rolex 24 / Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour double. It includes: Christopher Haase, Markus Winkelhock, Christopher Mies, Oliver Jarvis, Kelvin van der Linde, Frederic Vervisch, Augusto Farfus, Chaz Mostert, Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda, Paul Dalla Lana, Tim Pappas, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Romain Dumas, Sven Mueller, Mathieu Jaminet, Dennis Olsen, Matt Campbell, Dirk Werner and Maxi Buhk.

***Juncos Racing has yet to determine its second driver for the remainder of the WeatherTech Championship season. Will Owen is confirmed the full ten-round championship, with Rene Binder in for the four-round Michelin Endurance Cup. It’s understood Agustin Canapino, who has starred at the wheel of the team’s No. 50 Cadillac DPi-V.R, could be in for additional races that don’t conflict with his TC2000 commitments in Argentina.

***Ligier Automotive’s Pierre Nicolet has revealed that the Nissan DPi is available for sale to additional customers beyond CORE autosport, with a 6-8 week lead time to build the car. “We have a package offer with NISMO that makes the package very competitive in terms of running costs overall,” Nicolet told Sportscar365.

***Alex Zanardi hasn’t ruled out taking part in additional races although admitted he has nothing planned beyond the Rolex 24. Zanardi said his focus will shift to the 2020 Paralympic games in Tokyo, where the 52-year-old Italian, who is a four-time gold medalist in hand-cycling, said he has the “realistic objective” of again qualifying.

***The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer awarded Corvette Racing with its “Humanitarian of the Year” award, accepted by program manager Doug Fehan on Saturday morning. Both IMSA and Michelin Road Atlanta, which have combined to raise more than $3 million for the charity over the last nine years, were inducted as Platinum Members. The foundation, which helps families to cope with pediatric cancer, is an official charity of IMSA.

***The official IMSA Spotter Guide is available for download ahead of this afternoon’s race. The Andy Blackmore-designed guide features all 47 starters and has become a valuable resource for following races, both at the track and from home.

***Watch flag-to-flag coverage of the Rolex 24 on the NBC Sports family of networks, beginning at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN. IMSA Radio, meanwhile, will carry more than 25 hours of continuous coverage, available on IMSA.tv, radiolemans.com and on SiriusXM Radio.

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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