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Daytona Tuesday Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s Tuesday notebook from Daytona…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 488 GTE has arrived after its trip from Italy, and then was picked up in Miami. The Risi crew has tore down the car after its shakedown at Fiorano and is building the car to endurance specifications. It will take its first U.S. laps on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.

***James Davison appears set to make a surprise, last-minute return to the No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, joining Antonio Perez, Ricardo Perez, Santiago Creel and Lars Viljoen. Davison left TRG-AMR after Detroit last year, but is the defending Rolex 24 at Daytona polesitter.

***BAR1 Motorsports has completed the lineup in its No. 20 Oreca FLM09 with Ricardo Vera and Brendan Gaughan joining the previously announced trio of Johnny Mowlem, Marc Drumwright and Tomy Drissi.

***It leaves the No. 21 Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 as the only car of the 54 entered without a complete driver lineup for the race at the moment.

***Lamborghini and Audi teams in GT Daytona are making precautionary gearbox changes in advance of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, following a discovery after the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai earlier this month. Konrad heads back Stateside for this 24-hour classic after running at Dubai.

***Michael Shank Racing’s partner portfolio has expanded with announcements of Curb Records back for a sixth straight year and ZAK Products as a new addition. The team announced Tire Kingdom as primary sponsor of its No. 60 Ligier JS P2 Honda for the Rolex 24 last week.

***The Heart of Racing team has announced its usual charity fundraising effort for the Heart Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Over the last 19 years the team has raised more than $5.5 million. As the team heads into Daytona there are already pledges equaling $129 for every lap that the No. 23 Heart of Racing Porsche turns in the race, with a link to donate here.

***Beyond driving for Action Express Racing at Daytona, Simon Pagenaud will also drive the team’s No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP at Petit Le Mans in October. Pagenaud missed the race last year.

***All Prototype, Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona class teams will utilize Continental Tire’s current wet weather tire specification for the full Rolex 24, with new wet weather tire specifications to be implemented at IMSA’s Sebring test on February 25-26.

***Among the livery changes for this week’s race are the pair of Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-Rs. With the No. 33 car now taking on the Gas Monkey Garage signage this race, the No. 93 car also has a different livery, now with Mosing Motorcars on board and “Don’t Mess with Texas” on the roof. BMW Team RLL’s new liveries will be revealed on Wednesday.

***According to Reuters, U.S. regulators have asked a federal judge to order Scott Tucker and the estate of his late brother Blaine to pay more than $1.32 billion for allegedly running a deceptive online payday lending enterprise. Tucker was part of the winning driver lineup in GT Daytona at the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona, which was Level 5 Motorsports’ team’s last professional start.

***The first version of Andy Blackmore’s 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Spotter Guides is up, which feature all the new liveries expected to debut this week in both series. You can download the guide here.

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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