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WeatherTech Championship

Daytona Tuesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Tuesday notebook from Daytona…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***All 55 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship cars are set for this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, with teams unloading Tuesday afternoon and debuting a number of new liveries.

***The pair of Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09s have eye-catching new liveries this weekend, in what team boss Peter Baron hopes will help keep them out of trouble. According to Baron, the No. 8 car is painted in “Please Don’t Hit Me Pink” and the No. 88 in “Hey, We’re Right Here Orange.”

“I don’t care if people think they’re the ugliest cars in the world, as long as they are seen on track,” Baron told Sportscar365. “Starworks’ rule of thumb on endurance racing is never paint your car the same color as pavement, which we didn’t adhere to last year. Bright and loud is all I care about for this one.”

***Baron said he’s yet to finalize the fifth driver for the No. 88 car alongside Scott Mayer, James Dayson, Alex Popow and Sebastian Saavedra, with a decision likely to be made by tomorrow. Ben Keating, Robert Wickens, Chris Cumming, John Falb and Remo Ruscitti are confirmed in the No. 8 machine.

***Tequila Patron ESM completed a brief shakedown of its two Nissan Onroak DPis on Monday at Palm Beach International Raceway, with Scott Sharp and Ed Brown handling driving duties. Brendon Hartley, fresh off victory in the 24 Hours of Dubai, was also on hand but did not drive. The Kiwi told Sportscar365 that his first laps in the car will come on Thursday.

***Rebellion Racing took the wraps off an all-new livery, featuring a black, grey and white base, with Swiss and American flags mixed in. Team manager Bart Hayden told Sportscar365 they expect to run the design on the Oreca 07 Gibson in all four Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races.

***Brandon Gdovic has been a late addition too the No. 18 DAC Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan GT3, joining the previously confirmed Emmanuel Anassis, Anthony Massari and Zachary Claman DeMelo. The former NASCAR Xfinity Series driver, who drove for the team in Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America last year, is fresh off pulling triple-duty in Dubai earlier this month.

***A number of Prototype teams have raised continued reliability concerns with their electronics. All cars except for the Mazda RT24-P are powered by the FIA-mandated Cosworth electronics, which has produced numerous glitches, largely in the steering wheel systems.

***One team is understood to even be evaluating a potential post-Daytona systems change, pending IMSA’s approval.

***Land Motorsport is likely to add the Twelve Hours of Sebring to its IMSA program. Team principal Christian Land told Sportscar365 that a run with its U.S.-based Audi R8 LMS in the 12-hour classic is likely. The German squad makes its WeatherTech Championship debut this weekend with Christopher Mies, Connor De Phillippi, Jules Gounon and Jeffrey Schmidt as drivers.

***Both Graham Rahal and Sebastien Bourdais, meanwhile, are expected to arrive at Daytona tomorrow after testing their IndyCars at Sebring on Tuesday. Rahal joins the Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 effort, with Bourdais back with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing.

***Colin Braun, Jon Bennett, Ricky and Jordan Taylor, plus Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge team owner/driver Ted Giovanis, as well as Tyler Cooke took part in IMSA Day at Camp Boggy Creek on Tuesday. The camp, for children with serious or terminal medical conditions, is an official charity of IMSA.

Ryan Myrehn contributed to this report

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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