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Indianapolis Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday notebook from Indianapolis Motor Speedway…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***After missing the last four races, Paul Dalla Lana has returned to TUDOR United SportsCar Championship action, rejoining Dane Cameron at the wheel of the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3, which claimed GTD pole on Thursday. The former Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge champion, who is undertaking a  full-season of the FIA World Endurance Championship with Aston Martin Racing, takes the seat of Markus Palttala, who is competing in the Total 24 Hours of Spa this weekend.

***Kevin Estre, who finished a season-best second at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in GTD, is also racing at Spa this weekend, with Mike Skeen filling in for the Frenchman in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America with Patrick Lindsey. Christopher Haase, another European GT regular, is here this weekend, electing to focus on his driving duties with Paul Miller Racing.

***Randy Pobst has been a late addition to the Muhlner Motorsports lineup, joining Mark Kvamme in the No. 19 Porsche 911 GT America. Once again, the Florida-based team has withdrawn its second car, although this time it’s the No. 18 car that will not take part in Friday’s Brickyard Grand Prix. It will result in a 48-car starting grid.

***While Risi Competizione’s Giancarlo Fisichella claimed pole in GTLM, it came following considerable Balance of Performance adjustments given to its Ferrari F458 Italia for this round, including a 0.6 mm larger air restrictor, 30 kg weight break and the use of its 2011-spec rear wing.

***Ryan Dalziel and Johannes van Overbeek’s 1-2 run in qualifying, Extreme Speed Motorsports’ first sweep of the front row, came on National Tequila Day. The team’s Honda engines also received a BoP adjustments ahead of the race, with the 2.8-liter turbocharged powerplants getting a 0.3 mm larger air restrictor, which the team equates to roughly 5 additional horsepower.

***Patrick Dempsey arrived at Indy fresh off his debut in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, competing as a VIP driver in last weekend’s round at Hockenheim. The Hollywood actor/racer placed 23rd out of 28 starters in the highly competitive division. Dempsey is set to also take part in the Interlagos round in November.

***While used to marathon drives on the track, RSR Racing’s Chris Cumming will be taking part in the Ironman Canada in Whistler, B.C., Canada on Sunday. The Canadian Pro-Am driver has a new co-driver this week in IndyCar rising star Jack Hawksworth, who fills in for the suspended Alex Tagliani.

***Details on various suppliers to the new-for-2015 LMP3 platform are emerging. It’s understood Motegi has been selected as the exclusive wheel supplier for the class, which will compete in both the European and Asian Le Mans Series next year. LMP3 is not expected to have an immediate presence in North America.

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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