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Laguna Seca Friday Notebook

Sportscar365’s first notebook from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca…

Photo: Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta

***A total of 32 cars are taking part in this weekend’s Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, in the first two-hour and 40-minute race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season. DPi, GTD Pro and GTD class entries are rejoined by LMP2 teams for the first time since the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

***Cadillac enters Sunday’s race on the heels of a DPi podium sweep in the last two races at Sebring and Long Beach although face a 10 kg increase in minimum weight for its Dallara-built Cadillac DPi.V-Rs.

***In addition to securing a last-minute ride as a sub for Mike Skeen, Dirk Mueller has been confirmed as Team Korthoff Motorsports’ third driver for Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The Multimatic-contracted driver is making his second start of the season and first with the team.

***Mueller said he was “super gutted” for Skeen to miss Laguna after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week, which has effectively taken him out of chance of winning the GTD class title alongside co-driver Stevan McAleer.  “I will do my very best to support Team Korthoff Motorsports and Stevan,” Mueller said. “We will fight for the big points.”

***Bryan Sellers believes the “relatively substantial” power reduction for the BMW M4 GT3 will play its effects this weekend although the Paul Miller Racing driver admitted he was happy the car didn’t gain any additional weight since its breakthrough GTD class victory at Long Beach earlier this month.

***The BMW and Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD were among the cars to be given Balance of Performance adjustments ahead of this weekend, with the BMW losing in the range of 6 horsepower due to a boost reduction.

***Sellers said he and The Heart of Racing’s Maxime Martin had further discussions following their contact at Long Beach that ultimately ended Martin’s race. Sellers said he followed up with the Aston Martin factory after the race weekend and that “everything’s moved on.”

“In all my experience and years, this is something we all have to do with each other on a regular basis,” Sellers said. “You expect each other to race hard but at the end of the day you want to trust the person racing against you. That’s what makes this sport so special. Sometimes it doesn’t get right. It deserved a conversation. That conversation was had. We’re alright.”

***Kyle Washington is the busiest driver in the paddock this weekend as the GMG Racing driver is undertaking four races across three series, all in Porsche machinery. Washington and team owner James Sofronas have teamed up for both WeatherTech Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge action, with the former off-road racer also contesting the pair of Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by The Cayman Islands races.

***Porsche has a 13-person support staff and two fully stocked parts trailers on-site for the 48 entries running Porsche-built race cars across three series this weekend. It includes four Porsche 911 GT3 R entries in WeatherTech Championship competition.

***A number of drivers including Pipo Derani, Alex Lynn, Filipe Albuquerque, Oliver Jarvis, Louis Deletraz, Sebastien Bourdais, Steven Thomas and Josh Pierson have a busy travel schedule ahead with next weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship race at Spa-Francorchamps before returning Stateside for the Lexus Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio the week after.

***Monterey County officials confirmed on Friday approval for nearly $10 million in updates to Laguna Seca for 2023 that will include track resurfacing and a new start/finish bridge.

***Tristan Nunez threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the April 21 game between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit as part of a promotional tour for the Belle Isle race in June.

***Lamborghini junior driver Mateo Llarena has secured his second Guinness Book of World Records title, with the Guatemalan officially confirmed as the youngest driver to achieve pole position in WeatherTech Championship competition. He earned the feat at last year’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at the age of 17 years and 127 days old, piloting Performance Tech Motorsports’ Ligier JS P320 Nissan in LMP3.

***Llarena’s other world record was for being the youngest driver in history to compete in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, on July 5, 2020 at the age of 16 years and 131 days old.

***NBC will carry live coverage of the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, immediately following IndyCar’s Honda Grand Prix of Alabama. Dave Burns will join Calvin Fish in the booth with Parker Kligerman, Matt Yocum serving as pit lane reporters. IMSA Radio will also have live coverage with Shea Adam returning to the team alongside John Hindhaugh and Jeremy Shaw.

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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