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Daytona Tuesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Tuesday notebook from IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

***Wayne Taylor Racing unofficially topped the time charts in the opening two sessions of the day at Daytona International Speedway, with the No. 10 Acura ARX-06 of Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Louis Deletraz setting a benchmark 1:36.103 lap time in the four-hour afternoon session.

***The No. 10 Acura’s time was 0.074 seconds quicker than the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura, which features all four of its Rolex 24 at Daytona drivers this week in Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud.

***WTR’s fourth driver for the Rolex 24, Brendon Hartley, is not present due to the Kiwi’s commitments at the FIA Gala later this week where he and Toyota Gazoo Racing co-drivers Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa will be honored as FIA World Endurance champions.

***The No. 31 Action Express Racing-run Cadillac V-LMDh completed the most mileage in the second session with 75 laps and was unofficially third quickest, followed by the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac and No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963.

***The No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8 and No. 01 Cadillac, which are both brand-new race chassis, have yet to turn laps during the test. A three-hour night session is on tap from 6-9 p.m. ET.

***BMW M Team RLL technical and race operations director Brandon Fry told Sportscar365 that it’s the team’s goal to get the car on track by the end of the day, while CGR’s director of operations Mike O’Gara said they’re utilizing the two-day test as a shakedown for its new Cadillac race chassis.

***IMSA is anticipating a reserve list for teams wishing to compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona that will not make the cut by the selection committee, in a similar fashion to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. An entry list featuring accepted teams and cars is expected to be released within the next week according to a series spokesperson.

***The supplementary regulations for the Roar Before the Rolex 24 states that a maximum of 61 cars will be permitted to take part in the event, with more than 70 entries understood to have been submitted as of Tuesday’s deadline.

***BMW has yet to to decide whether it will utilize an eighth driver for the Rolex 24 according to LMDh project leader Maurizio Leschiutta, who told Sportscar365 that it is currently “under discussion.”

***Six of the seven confirmed BMW M Team RLL drivers were present at the track on Tuesday, with Sheldon van der Linde reportedly in Daytona Beach but under the weather.

***Members of Team WRT, which will operate BMW’s FIA World Endurance Championship program beginning in 2024, are assisting RLL in assembling the second IMSA race chassis at Rahal’s new workshop in Zionsville, Ind. that is expected to be rolled out during a test at Circuit of The Americas on Dec. 15.

***Leschiutta said: “It’s a win-win situation because it allows them to come up to speed learning the car before they have to build one on their own and it helps the Rahal team also in this period of peak where everyone is working 24/7.”

***Porsche has surpassed 27,000 kms (16,777 miles) in testing so far with its 963 according to factory LMDh director Urs Kuratle, which is marginally ahead of Cadillac, which entered the week with nearly 12,000 miles logged between its cars. Acura and BMW have not released numbers but are understood to be behind both manufacturers.

***Laurens Vanthoor has been given permission by Porsche to contest both the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 1000 Miles of Sebring WEC race on the same weekend, amid the Belgian’s signing at Pfaff Motorsports for the Michelin Endurance Cup races. Although not yet announced, it’s understood Vanthoor will be placed in Porsche Penske Motorsport’s full-season WEC lineup.

***Kuratle said: “His first priority is the PPM program and to drive the LMDh car. That’s his job. Anything which is possible to do besides this we will look into this and if it’s possible we don’t want to stay in anybody’s way of doing it. But the first priority is LMDh for him.”

***It’s understood that both Dane Cameron and Michael Christensen will be pulling double-duty at the ‘Super Sebring’ event as well, with the two PPM drivers poised to dovetail their full-season WEC commitments with IMSA Endurance Cup duties.

***Porsche’s full driver lineups for the WeatherTech Championship and WEC seasons will be announced at its ‘Night of Champions’ awards dinner on Dec. 17.

***JDC-Miller Motorsports team co-owner John Church as well as its 2022 DPi driver Tristan Vautier were spotted in the paddock, as well as JOTA team co-owner David Clark and several of the British squad’s engineers. It comes amid the news revealed by Sportscar365 that customer Porsche 963s will not be delivered until late April.

***There have been significant movement in management at CGR, with Steve Eriksen and Michael Harvey no longer with the organization. Mike O’Gara has been promoted to director of operations for the entire team, while former No. 02 Cadillac car chief Jamie Coates is now team manager for CGR’s IMSA program.

***Peter Baron, who served as the race strategist for the No. 01 CGR Cadillac, has moved to Action Express Racing in a new ‘driver performance optimization’ role. Baron has been credited for helping bring Jack Aitken into the team for the Endurance Cup rounds.

***Aitken got his first laps in the No. 31 Cadillac on Tuesday, stating that his experience of the car and track were both “pretty impressive.” The British-South Korean racer said: “I got into the swing of it and was having a blast by the end of the time. It’s got a lot of power and you can feel the downforce working.”

***Piers Phillips is no longer at Team RLL. Phillips had served as the team’s president, with a replacement not yet having been named.

***Porsche will be holding a two-day private test for its WeatherTech Championship GTD customer teams with the new Type-992 Porsche 911 GT3 R at Daytona on Dec. 17-18 according to Porsche Motorsport North America President and CEO Volker Holzmeyer, who told Sportscar365 that he expects five cars in attendance.

***At least six Porsche 911 GT3 Rs, including the GTD Pro class Pfaff entry that’s present at this week’s test and an additional yet-to-be-announced program that will not be part of the shakedown, are expected for the Rolex 24.

***ACO competition director Thierry Bouvet is on-site this week along with a FIA representative as part of the global prototype convergence process with IMSA. The ACO and IMSA jointly released the latest version of the LMDh technical regulations on Friday.

***The FIA World Motor Sport Council is set to approve a series of updates to the WEC sporting regulations for 2023, as well as an expected extension of the current LMP2 regulations and details on the ACO’s Pro-Am GT3-based class, during tomorrow’s meeting in Bologna.

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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