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Lime Rock Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday WeatherTech Championship notebook from Lime Rock…

Photo: Brian Cleary/BCPix.com

***The GT Daytona class championship-leading Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 returned to action in Friday’s third and final practice session following an engine change that put the Madison Snow and Bryan Sellers-driven entry on the sidelines for the majority of the day.

***Sellers and Snow hold a three-point lead over Meyer Shank Racing’s Katherine Legge who, along with her No. 86 Acura NSX GT3, was recently confirmed for the remainder of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

***The pair of Team RLL BMW M8 GTEs are sporting new liveries for the upcoming Tom Cruise film ‘Mission Impossible – Fallout’ which hits the theaters next week. The No. 24 BMW of John Edwards and Jesse Krohn is now in a full black livery.

***For the first time in WeatherTech Championship history, cars will qualify and race on the same day tomorrow. Qualifying is scheduled to run from 9:35-10:15 a.m. EDT, with the two-hour and 40-minute race getting underway at 3:10 p.m.

***While never featuring in the American Le Mans Series, there had been several single-day Grand-Am events, the most recent being at Indianapolis in 2012.

***Corvette Racing seeks its 100th victory in North America on Saturday at the site of its 100th win in the program’s global history two years ago. The breakdown included 16 WeatherTech Championship wins, 82 in the American Le Mans Series and one Grand-Am victory.

***No. 3 car mechanic David James, meanwhile, is working his 200th event for the team this weekend. A small number of Corvette Racing staff, including program manager Doug Fehan, team co-owner Gary Pratt and engineering director Doug Louth, have been with the team from its inception in 1999.

***The Pratt & Miller-run squad has won five times in 11 appearances at Lime Rock, having accumulated 5,132.54 race miles at the Connecticut track. It represents approximately 46 trips from New York City to Lakeville, Conn.

***Lime Rock has been typically also been a happy hunting ground for Porsche, which swept four of the possible six podium positions in last year’s race.

***Christina Nielsen, who is in the lone-remaining Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R following the No. 16 car’s late withdrawal, earned her first North American podium finish at Lime Rock in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. 

***The 2019 WeatherTech Championship schedule, along with key changes to the series for next year, are set to be revealed during the annual “State of the Series” address next month at Road America.

***IMSA President Scott Atherton told Sportscar365 not to expect any major changes to the calendar, although it’s believed the GT Daytona class could see a reduction to ten races as part of an aggressive cost-cutting initiative that’s expected to also be revealed during the event.

***Other rumored changes to the GTD class for 2019 include a crackdown on Silver-rated drivers and a reduction of crew members and testing opportunities. 

***Several IMSA drivers, including Laurens Vanthoor and Jack Hawksworth, participated in the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend.

***Vanthoor not only drove his 24 Hours of Le Mans class-winning “Pink Pig” Porsche 911 RSR but also took the iconic Porsche 911 GT1-98 up the hill, in a realization of a childhood dream for the Belgian.

***Lexus ambassador Scott Pruett escaped injury when his Lexus RC F GT3 erupted in flames following the run. The 3GT-liveried car was one of the manufacturer’s previous-generation GT3 cars that’s now used for demonstration purposes only.

***A 3GT Lexus is featured in a nationwide television ad campaign promoting its ‘Golden Opportunity Sales Event’. The shiny red No. 15 Lexus is included alongside Lexus performance vehicles in the television spot that will run throughout the summer.

***Continental Tire has brought more than 1,600 tires to Lime Rock, which has required five transporters and 13 employees to help service tires for the GT Daytona class and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge teams. 

***While it takes roughly 45 minutes to have a dealer dismount, mount, set pressure and balance a set of tires on a passenger vehicle, Continental estimates the same procedure can take less than five minutes for race teams.

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

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. jason

    July 20, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    “… although it’s believed the GT Daytona class could see a reduction to ten races as part of an aggressive cost-cutting initiative that’s expected to also be revealed during the event.”

    -Just my fan speculation, no insider whatsoever. Bet that Laguna loses GTD. Which saves major travel costs so the teams won’t have to go out west at all during the year. That is ok, got now issues with a P/GTLM only format. Don’t like it as much as GT only but its still cool. Wonder if the Daytona 24 could still be a non points race. So it could be a 9 race season for teams or paying drivers who decide that the Daytona 24 is too big of an expense.

    • Laguna seca fan

      July 21, 2018 at 1:36 am

      Weather tech sports car championship……weather tech raceway laguna seca…..weather tech scuderia corsa GTD…..Mcniel……..get my drift.

      • Some race fans have zero business sense

        July 21, 2018 at 6:02 am

        jason is a well-known anti-Lagunite. Maybe IMSA should adopt PWC’s idea and establish GTD-East and GTD-West championships, LOL.

        Other brilliant ideas that have emerged from the comments here have been to completely drop Long Beach from the schedule as well.

  2. jason

    July 20, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Will cheer for one of the makes that has not won yet this year. BMW in GTLM. Porsche, Audi, and Ferrari in GTD. Very possible for all mentioned to win at Lime Rock for sure. Good pace shown in practice so far.

  3. Josh Brown

    July 21, 2018 at 6:08 am

    If any race is cut from the schedule let it be Lime Rock. The track doesn’t produce good racing. Go back to Barber or Montreal or Utah. Even running the GT cars at Indy during the Indy GP weekend is a better option.

    • Andy

      July 21, 2018 at 11:58 am

      Well GA ran at Barber, and it was rarely a great race, so you can’t really say back as it hasn’t been in the schedule. Montreal is tough as you have to be on the few weekends they allow the track use so that would be tough without buying out someone’s event. Utah is a TERRIBLE track and makes for terrible viewing. Plus it is a gift event to anyone running a turbo, the NA cars might as well not show up.

      And I say that living under 90 minutes from Barber and would love to go but Indy weekend is usually the same time as a classic car event at Road Atlanta and that’s a much better event.

      Laguna Seca is likely under threat as a points event cause as much as Cooper spends Daddy’s money he isn’t funding the other teams. If they don’t want the travel it’s gonna be a tough sell and Atherton knows how quickly sponsors come and go. Don’t bend over for a sponsor who can leave in a hissy fit like we’ve seen him do multiple times already. And the WeatherTech spending in the naming rights is DIRT cheap, believe they said barely in the 100ks for the life of the deal. Mazda was barely paying a cent in the previous deal

  4. Andy Flinn

    July 21, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Nothing wrong with the Grand-Am races at Badger – if you watched them.

    I was there for the split DP and GT races in 2007.

    It must be a decent track if IndyCar races there.

    The track was built for motorcycles with no straight of any real length.

    The facilities are excellent. Plus, it has all the feel of a classic natural road course. There are many good places to watch.

    The big issue was heat. One year local paramedics had to remove Max the Axe from the #10 due to hear exhaustion.

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