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Laguna Seca Saturday Notebook

John Dagys’ Saturday notebook from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

***Katherine Legge, who scored her first career IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole on Saturday, left the track immediately after her pole run to be with her protege Sheena Monk, who suffered a violent accident in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America race just prior to GT Daytona qualifying.

***Monk, who was transported to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, is awake and alert and in stable condition, per an IMSA statement, following the airborne crash at the Corkscrew. 

***Oliver Gavin became the ninth different pole-sitter in ten GT Le Mans races so far this year. It was the Corvette Racing driver’s first pole position in IMSA competition since Daytona 2015.

***The Prototype pole-sitting Wayne Taylor Racing squad will be looking to end a 13-race winless streak, dating back to Detroit 2017. Ricky and Jordan Taylor had swept the first five races that year end route to the drivers’ championship.

***Jordan Taylor’s new-for-2018 co-driver Renger van der Zande was a special guest of Consul General Gerbert Kunst at the Dutch Embassy in San Francisco earlier this week.

***The No. 22 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi will start from the rear of the Prototype field tomorrow, due to a change of starting driver. Johannes van Overbeek, who was due to qualify the car, was sick today, and therefore saw Pipo Derani qualify the car in fourth. The team, however, has elected to still start van Overbeek.

***No word has been given if CORE autosport will utilize a similar strategy in swapping starting drivers, following Colin Braun’s fifth place qualifying run. The team has started Jon Bennett in the last three races after Braun had qualified the car.

***IMSA President Scott Atherton said Nissan’s eligibility for the DPi class next year is a “work in progress.” Tequila Patron, which concludes its motorsports involvement at the end of the year, had largely funded Nissan’s marketing commitment. “We are working very closely with ESM and with Nissan,” Atherton told Sportscar365. “We are aligned in our goals for sure.”

***Despite only three confirmed entries so far, Atherton expects to see a “reasonable and competitive” grid of LMP2 cars next year, with a target number of five cars in the Pro-Am-enforced class.

***A decision on a potential two-car factory-supported Aston Martin program in GT Le Mans for next year has reportedly not yet been taken. Sportscar365 has learned that at least four teams, including two current GTD class operations, have placed bids for the semi-works effort that would also include the North American sales and parts distribution for the manufacturer’s new GT3 and GT4 cars.

***Liam Dwyer has returned to the IMSA paddock for the first time since undergoing surgeries to both of his legs. The former U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. made his return to racing last month in a ChampCar (formerly ChumpCar) race at Virginia International Raceway.

***Numerous other drivers and team principals have been spotted in the paddock this weekend, including Greg Pickett, Ed Carpenter Racing general manager Tim Broyles, Bryan Herta and personnel from Hyundai, as well as Dion von Moltke, Joel Miller and Santino Ferrucci.

***Continental Tire presented Scott Pruett with a book on Saturday at the Lexus Racing Experience on Saturday, filled with messages from fellow drivers, team owners, media and series staff in commemoration of Pruett’s 50 years in motorsports.

***Watch the America’s Tire 250 on Sunday at 5 p.m. EDT live on FS1. Flag-to-flag coverage will also be available on IMSA Radio, and IMSA.tv for international viewers.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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