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Indianapolis Wednesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Wednesday notebook from Indianapolis Motor Speedway…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***IMSA teams will be greeted to a revised Indianapolis Motor Speedway GP layout tomorrow, with both the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge races utilizing the 2.439-mile, 14-turn circuit that IndyCar christened in May. Prototype Challenge pilots Martin Plowman and Jack Hawksworth took part in that race and are the only drivers with previous race experience on this configuration.

***A number of teams tested on the layout in June, including Action Express Racing, Extreme Speed Motorsports, Porsche North America, Magnus Racing, Alex Job Racing, GB Autosport, RSR Racing, Dempsey Racing, Snow Racing, Park Place Motorsport and Muehlner Motorsport. The test was organized by Porsche.

***It was from that group test where it was determined that Continental Tire’s “Black” tire, typically used for natural terrain and street courses, would be used for Prototype and GT Daytona class cars this week. Prototype Challenge competitors, meanwhile, will use Conti’s “Gold” construction, a similar tire used by DP teams in last year’s race here.

***With Ben Barker on Porsche Supercup duty this weekend in Hungary, Matt Bell has been called up to drive the No. 81 GB Autosport Porsche 911 GT America alongside Damien Faulkner. Silver-rated Bell is coming off victory in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the same weekend where the Tully’s Coffee-sponsored entry scored a season-best fourth place result in GTD.

***Michael Shank told Sportscar365 that he’s sold his No. 6 Riley DP to a group that plans to enter the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds in 2015. Shank said he’s working with buyers to upgrade the Gen-3 car to 2014 spec. No word has been given on the car’s powerplant, although it would be reasonable to suspect a Dinan-tuned BMW would be one of the options.

***While having played host to GRAND-AM competitors the previous two years, the Brickyard Grand Prix marks the first time many ALMS drivers, teams and manufacturers will visit the yard of bricks, including factory efforts from SRT Motorsports/Dodge, BMW and Porsche, as well as teams such as Extreme Speed Motorsports with Scott Sharp, a 14-time Indianapolis 500 starter and event pole-sitter in 2001.

***Porsche first officially came to the Brickyard in 1988 with a turbocharged, 2.65-liter V8 Indycar engine fitted in a March chassis. The German manufacturer never had good fortunes in the Indy 500, although Porsche Supercup enjoyed a great deal of success as a support series to Formula One in 2000-2006.

***The most successful Porsche Supercup driver at Indy was Wolf Henzler, with four victories in three years. The German factory driver returns this week with Bryan Sellers in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR in GTLM.

***Due to the unique nature of the paddock setup, Continental Tire has set up two separate processing centers to accommodate TUDOR Championship and Continental Challenge teams. Both paddocks are located on opposite ends of the track, with many GT teams located behind the track museum. More than 25 people will help to process tires for the 100-plus Continental-shod teams in attendance.

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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