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Daytona Tuesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Tuesday notebook from Daytona…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***No major incidents were reported during today’s test sessions. A red flag came out early in the afternoon session for debris, while the No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09 spun but did not make contact with a barrier.

***Times were not recorded but the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibson was unofficially clocked in the mid-to-high 1:39 range, with significant gains expected to come from the 2017-spec LMP2 car, which turned its first laps in North America.

***Mike Guasch told Sportscar365 he’s signed up for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races with PR1/Mathiasen and will forgo a return to the European Le Mans Series to focus on his new P2 effort. The 2016 ELMS LMP3 champion, however, has not ruled out a 24 Hours of Le Mans debut in United Autosports’ Ligier-Gibson.

***Guasch and fellow ELMS LMP3 champion Alex Brundle will test one of the Manor Oreca 05 Nissans in this weekend’s WEC Rookie Test in Bahrain. The test was awarded to this year’s class champion in the junior prototype class.

***Julien Canal turned laps in the PR1-run Ligier-Gibson on Tuesday before flying to Bahrain for this weekend’s WEC race. It’s believed the Frenchman could end up being the fourth driver in the car for Daytona, joining Guasch, Tom Kimber-Smith and Jose Gutierrez.

***Johnny Mowlem has had one of the world’s shortest retirements, with the Englishman returning to the wheel of BAR1 Motorsports’ Oreca FLM09 on Tuesday, just 45 days after hanging up the helmet following last month’s Petit Le Mans.

***Mowlem told Sportscar365 that he may take part in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, as a final race, which would take his career full circle, having made his U.S. race debut in the Daytona in 1999.

***Tom Papadopoulos and Adam Merzon are also testing the BAR1 PC entry this week, with an eye towards a 2017 program. Team owner Brian Alder told Sportscar365 he plans to have two cars for Daytona and one currently confirmed for the full-season.

***The GTD grid is expected to feature up to ten additional Daytona, or Daytona/Sebring-only entries from European GT3 teams, with Land Motorsport, Ebimotors, Grasser Racing Team, and HTP Motorsport among the expected entrants, along with at least two other to-be-announced efforts.

***It’s understood the entry cap for January’s race will likely be set at 60 cars, which could result in some teams being turned away. A total of 67 cars took the start in the 2014 running of the race, the largest field since the merger.

***Dream Racing is unlikely to contest a full-season with its Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Cedric Sbirrazzuoli told Sportscar365 their 2017 program will be finalized in the next few weeks and will likely include a partial-season GTD effort, with Sbirrazzuoli, Paolo Ruberti, Luca Persiani and Larry DeGeorge confirmed for Daytona.

***Alkamel will take over entire control of IMSA’s timing and scoring system next year, with IMSA informing its longtime 11-person timing team on Monday of their termination. An IMSA spokesperson told Sportscar365 the transition has been in the works for months.

***Jordan Taylor “crashed” Tuesday’s test, dressing up in a purple-colored Hoosier Racing jacket and scissor-cut jean shorts, and posed with unsuspecting drivers for selfies, all caught on camera. Taylor is not testing at Daytona, as his Wayne Taylor Racing team, and Action Express Racing, has forgone this week’s test with its yet-to-be-announced Cadillac DPis.

***HPD Vice President Steve Eriksen told Sportscar365 they expect the Acura NSX GT3 cars to receive final FIA homologation by mid-December. The California-based manufacturer is working through the final paperwork now, its first production-based car to go through the process.

***Michael Shank Racing will run the Nos. 86 and 93 next year, signifying the first year of Acura (1986) and the year Honda Performance Development was launched (1993).

***BMW’s Art Car for the Rolex 24 will be unveiled on Nov. 30 in Miami. The 19th Art Car from the German manufacturer has been designed by American conceptual artist John Baldessari. The drivers of the Art Car are also expected to be confirmed at the unveil, with its full lineup being finalized next month at its end-of-year awards night in Munich.

***Multimatic has been designated as the customer support partner for Mercedes-AMG in both the WeatherTech Championship and Pirelli World Challenge. A dedicated workshop in Mooresville, N.C. and trackside support truck has been established for the effort, which has been nearly a year in the works.

***Turner Motorsport is taking part in this weekend’s Baja 1000, in a Class 10 car to be driven by Will Turner, Michael Marsal, Markus Palttala and the team’s PR representative, Jay Baier. Fellow IMSA team Kelly-Moss Racing is also entered for the event.

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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