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Daytona Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday notebook from Daytona International Speedway…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Wayne Taylor said he expects to have news on his pending LMP2 entry for the 24 Hours of Le Mans by Friday. “We have everything in hand to send the entry in on Monday,” he said. “But I’ve got to wait. One of the parts of the program has to work. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll have a better understanding.”

***Eliseo Salazar and Kris Wilson have completed TRG-AMR’s lineup in the No. 009 Aston Martin V12 Vantage, joining the previously announced Derek DeBoer and Max Riddle. The team held a press conference Thursday morning with all eight of its drivers in James Bond-themed tuxedos.

***Tristan Vautier has been a last-minute addition to the No. 85 JDC/Miller Motorsports Oreca FLM09 alongside Mikhail Goikhberg, Chris Miller, Stephen Simpson and Rusty Mitchell. The former Indy Lights champion took part in last year’s race in one of SpeedSource’s Mazda SKYACTIV-D prototypes.

***Krohn Racing has shown improved pace since the Roar Before the Rolex 24, with its Ligier JS P2 Judd qualifying sixth. It received a 40 kg weight break for this weekend and is running at the 900 kg minimum weight, unlike the other new-gen P2 cars which are slightly over their IMSA-mandated 940 kg minimum weight.

***Tequila Patron ESM, however, have faced a challenging opening day, with its No. 1 HPD ARX-04b not taking part in qualifying or night practice due to a manufacturing flaw in the bell housing was discovered following the morning practice session. The No. 2 car qualified 13th overall in the hands of Johannes van Overbeek. A new part is being flown in to get the No. 1 car back on track tomorrow.

***While a deal has yet to be finalized, Flying Lizard Motorsports hopes to enter three or four additional TUDOR Championship races this year with its Audi R8 LMS. Program manager Darren Law said they are currently talking with customers for the partial-season program, which would run alongside its McLaren 650S GT3 effort with K-PAX in Pirelli World Challenge.

***The DeltaWing has received a number of updates since last year’s Petit Le Mans, including a switch from a five to six-speed EMCO gearbox and an entire new rear-end, aimed to provide quicker serviceability. The Elan-powered Prototype entry is running in low downforce trim this weekend, therefore without the tail fin and splitter it debuted at Road Atlanta.

***The No. 07 SpeedSource Mazda SKYACTIV-D retreated to the garage during qualifying, having reported loss of oil pressure. The team will change the engine and miss Thursday’s night practice, but is set to run at least installation laps in Friday’s practice.

***Newly named Porsche factory driver Earl Bamber got his first taste of the German manufacturer’s LMP1 car this week during a multi-day test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The 24-year-old New Zealander teams with Joerg Bergmeister and Fred Makowiecki this weekend in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR entry.

***Jeff Gordon’s retirement has reaches to the sports car racing world as the NASCAR legend took part in the 2007 Rolex 24 at Daytona with Wayne Taylor Racing, finishing third overall in a Riley-Pontiac DP with Max Angelelli, Jan Magnussen and Wayne Taylor. “He’s such a humble guy. He is a special kind of driver that stands above most,” Taylor said.

***WeatherTech’s upcoming Super Bowl ad will feature a cameo appearance from Cooper MacNeil, driver of the No. 22 WeatherTech-backed Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America. Click Here for a sneak peek of the ad.

***Tire Kingdom has joined Michael Shank Racing as the title sponsor for its No. 60 Ligier JS P2 Honda for this weekend’s Rolex 24 as well as the Twelve Hours of Sebring in March. As a result, the car has changed from an orange to red livery.

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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