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IMSA News & Notes, 12.9

Driver awards, testing, and more from TUSC drivers in last week…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

***Markus Palttala won the BMW Sports Trophy at BMW’s year-end celebration. Palttala missed a round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season and thus lost out on the GT Daytona class title he would have otherwise shared with Dane Cameron. Nonetheless, the Finn was recognized as BMW’s top privateer driver in 2014. Besides his role in the Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3, he also shared a Team Marc VDS BMW en route to winning the European Le Mans Series round at Estoril.

***Cameron was second in the BMW Sports Trophy standings, and posted the highest finish for a North American driver since Paul Dalla Lana won the trophy in 2011. Fall-Line Motorsports Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge teammates Trent Hindman (11th) and John Edwards (24th) also ranked well in this year’s BMW Sports Trophy standings.

***Gordon McDonnell, BMW of North America Motorsport Manager during seasons 2013-2014, has announced he will accept an assignment with BMW Motorrad USA as Motorrad Service and Technical Manager, effective Jan. 1. His successor at BMW of North America will be announced in due course.

***Besides the overall winners, several 2014 IMSA drivers took part in the Thunderhill 25 Hours. Despite alternator and battery issues, the No. 03 Superlite SLC of Ryan Eversley and Mike Skeen among others finished third in their ES class, and fourth overall after completing 628 laps.

***Sean Rayhall and Colin Braun, part of lineups in respective Radical SR3s, ended second and third in ESR after completing 582 and 578 laps, respectively. The Team RDR Mazda RX-8 that included Joel Miller won the E2 class and completed 576 laps. A Nissan 370Z driven by Aaron Pfadt, Bryan Heitkotter, Lara Tallman and Vesko Kozarov also scored a podium, with third in the E0 class after completing 600 laps. Kyle Gimple set the E0 class pole in his No. 02 BMW.

***Entry lists for either and/or both of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 and the Rolex 24 at Daytona are not expected to come out this week. Entries needed to be submitted by last Monday, December 1.

***Corvette Racing completed three days of testing at NOLA Motorsports Park over the weekend; Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Antonio Garcia posted images from the test on social media. The team is yet to confirm its full 2015 driver lineup.

***Extreme Speed Motorsports’ Ryan Dalziel was honored with the Scottish Motor Racing Club’s (SMRC) John Romans Trophy over the weekend, which is presented to a Scottish driver who’s shown excellence throughout the year. Further ESM 2015 team details could be revealed later this week.

***DeltaWing driver Andy Meyrick has won the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s (BRDC) John Cobb Trophy, along with his two “Bentley Boys” co-drivers Guy Smith and Steven Kane. The award is presented to the best British driver(s) in a British car. The trio finished second in the Blancpain Endurance Series this season, and Meyrick is possible to dovetail selected DeltaWing races along with his Bentley commitments once more in 2015.

***An announcement of Paul Miller Racing’s 2015 plans is expected later this week. The team will run a full season in the TUDOR Championship; thus far PMR has only confirmed Bryce Miller for the Patron Endurance Cup races, with the full-season driver lineup coming with the announcement.

***Compass360 Racing’s first Audi S3 has rolled into the dyno Monday for its first tuning session.

***Last week’s BMW TUDOR Championship announcement will impact 8Star Motorsports’ 2015 plans. BMW switches its GT Le Mans car numbers from 55 and 56 to 24 and 25, and as 8Star carried the No. 25 on its Prototype Challenge class entry last year, this means the team will have to change its number in 2015.

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 NBCSports.com and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony

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