***The pair of Mazda RT24-Ps have been trimmed down to IMSA’s newly permitted minimum weight of 915kg, according to Joest Racing Managing Director Ralf Juttner. The Mazdas were given a 15kg weight reduction as part of series of Balance of Performance adjustments to the Multimatic-built cars, which had been overweight in its previous form last year.
***All other DPi or LMP2 cars are running at either 930 or 940kgs, per the BoP table issued by IMSA last week.
***BAR1 Motorsports’ Riley Mk. 30 Gibson has been upgraded to full Evo specification after running only some of the updates at the Roar. Team principal Brian Alder told Sportscar365 they’re targeting a steady race and to capitalize on an expected hard-fought battle up front that could lead to incidents and attrition.
***Alder said he plans to submit the team’s entry request for the 24 Hours of Le Mans next week. Should its entry be granted by the ACO, he indicated they could elect to skip a few WeatherTech Championship races in order to fully prepare for the French endurance classic.
***Ben Keating, who ran the Riley LMP2 chassis in the race last year, is expected to announce his Le Mans plans tomorrow morning during a press conference. Keating received an auto-invite, for use in GTE-Am, courtesy of winning the Bob Akin award last year in GT Daytona.
***The Texan’s planned GTE-Am effort is understood to involve a longtime IMSA team.
***A handful of drivers will be late arrivals to Daytona tonight, with Ryan Hunter-Reay, Graham Rahal and Sebastien Bourdais all taking part in IndyCar testing at Sebring on Tuesday and Wednesday.
***The combined age for Fernando Alonso’s two co-drivers, Lando Norris and Phil Hanson, adds up to 36 years and 7 months, just two months older than the two-time Formula 1 world champion himself.
***Porsche Consulting and Porsche Digital have come on-board to serve as primary sponsors for the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R this year. Both companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Porsche AG.
***Porsche celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first overall win at the Rolex 24 this weekend. Vic Elford, who teamed with Jochen Neerpasch, Rolf Stommelen, Jo Siffert and Hans Herrmann for victory in the 1968 race with a Porsche 907 LH, will be on-site for the celebrations.
***The German manufacturer holds a record 22 overall wins in the race, the most recent coming in 2010 with Action Express Racing’s Porsche-powered Riley DP. Remarkably, Porsche has a 70 percent class win record, totaling 78 class victories in the Florida endurance classic.
***The Rolex 24 again sees a massive logistic undertaking for Continental Tire, which has brought more than 8,500 tires to the track, four times more than any other race weekend. It’s required 16 transporters and a staff of 70 employees to help process the tires and service all IMSA teams.
***At peak demand, 200 tires can be processed by Continental staff within an hour. Each tire takes roughly two minutes to dismount, mount, set pressure and balance.
***Continental was announced Monday as the new exclusive tire partner for Red Bull Global Rallycross. The multi-year deal, which begins with the 2018 season, will include Supercars, GRC Lites and Polaris RZR categories, in addition to electric vehicles debuting in 2019.
***Longtime Tequila Patron ESM lead crew member Randy Ankeny passed away last week at the age of 46. Ankeny had previously served as a lead mechanic and crew chief with the team. “He was a hardworking and valued team member and we will miss him greatly,” team owner Scott Sharp said. “Our hearts go out to his family and friends during this time of terrible loss.”
***Thursday’s track action kicks off with opening practice at 9:20 a.m. ET, followed by a second session in the early afternoon and qualifying beginning at 3:55 p.m. A 90-minute night practice is set to run from 6:30-8 p.m.
***Thirty-six drivers, mostly Bronze and Silver-rated, will be required to complete laps in night practice in order to be eligible for night-time running in the race. Click Here to view the list.