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Daytona Wednesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Wednesday notebook from Daytona…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***All three Cadillac DPi-V.Rs overcame Tuesday’s electrical issues to log considerable mileage in the second and final day of the IMSA-sanctioned test, with Eric Curran ending up quickest with a 1:37.797 lap.

***Curran’s time was nearly a half-second faster than Alex Gurney’s 1:38.270 pole time from the 2014 Rolex 24, which stood as the qualifying lap record for the previous-generation DP/P2 machinery at Daytona.

***IMSA’s Director of New Racing Platforms Mark Raffauf  predicts qualifying times could dip into the 1:36 range next month. “To hit 1:38 out of the box [on Tuesday], it’s right on the track record, right away with a brand-new car that’s never been here before,” Raffauf told Sportscar365. “We all know it’s going to get better. The question is how much? I say two more seconds.”

***Raffauf said he doesn’t expect to see the cars slowed for the race, with both the LMP2 and DPi cars performing as expected. “The P2 car is going to be OK using the standard body, and it looks like the DPi car, because it has [more] drag, will also be naturally be limited.”

***The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac was quickest in the speed traps, topping out at 200.5 mph. Visit Florida Racing’s Riley Mk. 30 Gibson was clocked at 194.7 mph, with the Mazda RT24-P at 186.7 mph.

***The pace-setting No. 31 Action Express Cadillac only turned its first laps on Tuesday, in what marked the team’s first time operating both of its cars simultaneously. The No. 31 car is Dallara chassis No. 6, with the No. 5 Cadillac being chassis No. 3.

***Chris Mitchum, AXR’s director of race team operations, admitted they weren’t holding anything back in the test. “You’d like to think there’s a lot more potential there. But we’re running for everything we’ve got right now,” he told Sportscar365.

***Mitchum said they have a single-day test planned later this week. While not disclosing the location, it’s believed to be at Sebring, where a five-day Dunlop tire test is currently ongoing.

***While the Dallara has been homologated to use Brembo brakes, the AXR cars were sporting AP brakes this week. IMSA’s Raffauf told Sportscar365 that DPi manufacturers have the flexibility to change brake and shock suppliers, but all teams within each DPi manufacturer must run with the same components.

***Raffauf said DPi cars are due to be homologated in early January, with the homologations of LMP2 machinery set to be finalized by the FIA later this month. IMSA already has nearly finalized homologation sheets for the four Gibson-engined LMP2 cars.

***This week’s test was only mandatory for at least one car from each GT Le Mans manufacturer, although any prototype taking part was required to run to full IMSA specification, including its new-for-2017 data logger system.

***The new Bosch system, which Raffauf says is “two to three steps” ahead of the system that debuted in the GT classes this year, includes an on-board LCD display that allows IMSA to relay messages directly to the driver, if necessary.

***Visit Florida Racing is aiming to finalize its third and final driver for the Rolex 24 by next week, with three drivers currently in contention for the seat. “There’s some things we need to work out internally to decide between those three, but that list will be cut down by the end of this week and we’ll make a decision,” team principal Troy Flis told Sportscar365.

***Flis said they will be taking delivery of a second Riley-Gibson in time for the Roar next month, which will be used a spare. It could, however, be put into action at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, should the team’s entry request be accepted.

***While yet to break cover, it’s understood the Nissan bodywork on the Tequila Patron ESM Ligier DPis is inspired from the GT-R road car. The car is due to take part in a full-scale IMSA wind tunnel test on Tuesday, the last of the prototypes to be validated.

***Manthey Racing (pictured above) completed its first laps of Daytona with its Porsche 911 GT3 R this week. The German team, featuring a largely gentlemen driver lineup, is being supported by NGT Motorsport, which is also assisting Italian squad EbiMotors in its North American debut.

***It’s understood Alegra Motorsports could take part in additional GTD races beyond its planned four-race Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup program, featuring IMSA Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Challenge standouts Daniel Morad and Jesse Lazare. The team is running a brand-new Porsche 911 GT3 R.

***Ford Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon has made a cameo appearance in Air New Zealand’s new in-flight safety video (below). The four-time IndyCar Series champion is seen driving a boat, with a number of fellow famous Kiwis also in the video.

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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