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Detroit Thursday Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s Thursday notebook from Belle Isle Park…

Photo: Tony DiZinno

Photo: Tony DiZinno

***James Vance joins James French for this weekend’s race at Performance Tech Motorsports. Vance, who last drove for the team at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, got the call earlier this week when Conor Daly was drafted in to replace the injured James Hinchcliffe in IndyCar for its doubleheader race at Detroit.

***Vance doesn’t have just this to look forward to, as in the last week he’s also been confirmed in a Racers Edge Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302R in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge for the balance of the season, starting at its next race at Watkins Glen.

***BAR1 Motorsports has withdrawn from the weekend, as there were no drivers named to the team’s No. 16 car. Team principal Brian Alder confirmed to Sportscar365 the team is focusing on Watkins Glen and that, coupled with the second SpeedSource Mazda withdrawing, leaves a field of 23 cars (7 P, 6 PC, 10 GTD) for Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic.

***Michael Shank Racing enters Detroit this weekend off a several-day test last week at NOLA Motorsports Park, with Ozz Negri, John Pew and Matt McMurry behind the wheel of the team’s Ligier JS P2 Honda. Shank said the NOLA track surface should help the team’s preparation, while Pew said the track has got bumpier since a past test there years ago.

***Speaking of bumps, drivers and teams are keen to experience the newly repaved Belle Isle Park circuit, which should produce faster lap times and eliminate some of the bumps that defined the circuit for the first couple years. Several concrete patches have been laid down throughout the 2.35-mile street circuit, which should make a big difference.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony

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