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Laguna Seca Saturday Notebook

John Dagys’ Saturday notebook from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

***The No. 55 Mazda RT24-P has lost its fourth place starting position after the car was found to have exceeded the maximum camber angle in post-qualifying technical inspection. Harry Tincknell will now start from the rear of the six-car DPi field.

***Dane Cameron admitted that qualifying was a “big improvement” for Meyer Shank Racing, which was more than 1.3 seconds off the pace in Friday’s opening practice session. “I’m really happy with the improvement and the balance changes that we made,” he said. “It’s definitely disappointing to come up just a but short but it’s an all-Acura front row start for us which is great.”

***Cameron believes tomorrow’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race will come down to tire management due to the abrasive nature of the 2.2-mile WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which hasn’t been repaved since 2007.

***Pipo Derani said he was disappointed with his qualifying run in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, which is set to roll off from fourth on the grid after the Mazda penalty. The Brazilian believes a change in track conditions “changed a lot and affected our side of the garage.”

***A pit lane violation for the No. 23 The Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage of Ross Gunn in Qualifying 2 has cost the team significant ground in the close GT Daytona title fight. Gunn, who set the quickest time in Q2, lost all of his qualifying times due to climbing out of the car before the conclusion of the session.

***Gunn and co-driver Roman De Angelis entered the weekend 18 points behind Turner Motorsport’s Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley in the class championship and would have closed the gap to 13 points had the penalty not occurred. The Turner duo now provisionally hold a 35-point lead entering the race.

***Filipe Albuquerque (1:14.441/DPi) and Jordan Taylor (1:21.151/GTLM) both set new track qualifying records, slashing the previous records held by Ricky Taylor (2019) while Jordan Taylor improved on his record set here in 2020.

***Corvette Racing hasn’t won at Laguna Seca since 2014, a feat the Nos. 3 and 4 Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs will be looking to change on Sunday.

***Paddock rumors have placed Ryan Hunter-Reay as a potential candidate to replace the departing Cameron in MSR’s Acura ARX-05 next year. As reported by Sportscar365, Cameron is set to be signed by Penske Porsche Motorsport for its FIA World Endurance Championship program beginning for 2023.

***Hunter-Reay, whose NTT IndyCar Series future is unclear following his parting of ways with Andretti Autosport, holds links with MSR’s primary sponsor AutoNation, while also being a longtime Honda driver. In an unrelated move, Simon Pagenaud is expected to sign for MSR’s IndyCar program.

***Sportscar365 understands that Alex Lynn is Chip Ganassi Racing’s favored driver to replace the departing Kevin Magnussen next year in its No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R. Magnussen is set to solely focus on his WEC commitments with Peugeot in 2022.

***The LMP2 class is poised to see a surge of entries next year, with multiple European teams exploring programs including recent 24 Hours of Le Mans winners class winners Team WRT, which is potentially targeting a Michelin Endurance Cup effort to prepare for a possible Audi LMDh presence in the series in 2023.

***Despite other media reports indicating that plans having been called off for a factory effort, Sportscar365 understands that discussions are still ongoing for Audi to be represented on the grid, with WRT one of those possibilities. IMSA is understood to be making a push with Audi of America to put a deal together, with other options reportedly on the table.

***WRT, High Class Racing and Algarve Pro Racing are among the European entrants eyeing the IMSA LMP2 ranks next year, with at least one existing WeatherTech Championship team set for an expansion to two cars in 2022, with confirmation expected by next month.

***Discussions with K-PAX Racing and Lamborghini have continued, with the team’s program manager Darren Law spotted on-site this weekend for meetings on a potential GTD Pro program in 2022. Sportscar365 understands other teams remain in the mix for the effort, including FFF Racing Team.

***Beaux Barfield is serving as race director for all series here this weekend, filling in for the regular race directors in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America and Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires due to a busy weekend for IMSA-sanctioned series spread across the country.

***Indianapolis Motor Speedway is playing host to Porsche Carrera Cup North America as part of the Porsche Sportscar Together Fest while the season finale of Ferrari Challenge North America is taking place at Road America.

***It’s believed to be the first time in the modern era that IMSA has sanctioned series racing in three locations on the same weekend.

***NBCSN will carry live coverage of the race beginning Sunday at 4 p.m. ET with Dave Burns and Calvin Fish in the booth and Brian Till and Hannah Newhouse in pit lane. The IMSA Radio team led by John Hindhaugh, Jeremy Shaw and Shea Adam will also provide coverage for international audiences.

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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