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Daytona Wednesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Wednesday notebook from Daytona…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Photo: Brian Cleary/

***ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy and IMSA Chairman Jim France cut the ribbon to officially open the new stadium at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday. It marked the culmination of the $400 million Daytona Rising project, which has transformed the front-stretch of the speedway.

***IMSA has issued a revision to the Balance of Performance on Wednesday, confirming a reduction in fuel capacity for the Ford GT. The GT Le Mans class car loses 5 liters of fuel capacity (98 to 93 liters) following further analysis by the sanctioning body.

***Kyle Marcelli will be added to Performance Tech Motorsports’ lineup for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and potentially future races in the team’s No. 38 Oreca FLM09. He’d join a lineup that includes James French, Jim and Josh Norman, and Brandon Gdovic.

***Additionally, Joe Toussaint and Philip Bloom are set to join the lineup in the No. 21 Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3, alongside Emanuele Busnelli and Jim Michaelian.

***Progress has continued with the Riley Mk. XXX, the new 2017 LMP2 car jointly developed by Riley Technologies and Multimatic. Bill Riley told Sportscar365 that on-track testing is expected to begin in the summer, likely with its initial customer teams.

***Mazda, widely believed to be one of the initial customers of the Riley P2 chassis, is not expected to officially confirm its 2017 DPi involvement this weekend, as originally suggested. The manufacturer debuts its new MZ-2.0T gasoline engine this weekend in its existing Lola B11/80 chassis.

***Prototype Challenge teams will head a bit into the unknown on Thursday, with new gearing and wing adjustments aimed to speed up the spec Oreca FLM09s on the straights. The cars, which struggled to pass the GT machines at the Roar Before the Rolex 24, have been given 3 degrees less rear wing.

***The minimum drive time in the race has been increased from 4.5 to 5 hours for Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona drivers. The 4.5-hour minimum remains in place for Prototype and GT Le Mans drivers wanting to score points in the Truman/Akin Cup.

***IMSA has also fixed a loophole in the rules previously allowing Bronze or Silver-rated PC/GTD drivers from not meeting the minimum time. Last year’s rule stated that one Am driver had to complete the minimum drive time for each Pro in the car. This year, it states at least two Am drivers must achieve the minimum time, no matter what.

***Continental has brought 7,000 tires to Daytona, enough to fill 16 tractor trailers. The increased capacity, roughly four times of a typical IMSA weekend, has required a 68-person staff to process and service the tires and teams. Continental can process more than 200 tires per hour, at peak demand.

***Prototype teams will be allowed 36 sets of tires (dry and wet), with PC teams allocated 26 sets and GTD teams running a maximum of 28 sets. Golds have been the designated dry weather tire for the three classes, with the Black compound set to be used for P and PC in the wet.

***Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s pair of Riley-Ford Daytona Prototypes will be restored to past win liveries following this weekend’s race, per Ganassi managing director Mike Hull. The No. 02 car, which won last year, will be in the same colors that won in 2015, while the No. 01 car will take on the BMW color scheme utilized for the 2013. The team ends its DP program after this weekend.

***CORE autosport Chief Operating Officer Morgan Brady has become a new partner in sister company Composite Resources. Brady joined the organization, initially as team manager in 2010 and has led the Rock Hill, S.C.-based team to five consecutive PC championships, as well as last year’s GTLM title with the Porsche North America squad.

***Martin Plowman married longtime girlfriend Nicole Pollard last weekend. The 28-year-old Indianapolis-based Englishman makes his debut with CORE autosport this weekend, as an expected one-off race.

***The Ferrari Challenge kicked off its practice sessions on Wednesday with a 37-car field, featuring 17 teams. It’s one of the biggest fields in series history. Scuderia Corsa has a team and Martin Fuentes, Ricardo Perez, Henrik Hedman and Lance Willsey are among the notable drivers entered. Perez and Willsey will race in both Ferrari Challenge and the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Tony DiZinno 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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