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Lime Rock Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ first notebook from Northeast Grand Prix weekend at Lime Rock Park…

Photo: John Dagys

***A total of 17 cars are set for this weekend’s Northeast Grand Prix in the first GT-only IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round of the season.

***As was the case at Watkins Glen International, it marks IMSA’s first appearance to the 1.5-mile circuit in two years due to last year’s cancelation of the Northeast rounds due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

***Teams return to Lime Rock Park with the historic Connecticut circuit under a new ownership group. Dicky Riegel, the former President & CEO of Airstream, Inc. and COO of Thor Industries, Inc., is serving as track’s new CEO, with former sole owner Skip Barber part of the ownership group.

***Lime Rock Park is the second-to-final track the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R hasn’t previously been to, when factoring in a typical IMSA season and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As was the case at Watkins Glen, the Pratt & Miller-run squad did not previously test here.

***Proton Competition has split its resources between the FIA World Endurance Championship round in Monza and Lime Rock, where it is fielding WeatherTech Racing’s Porsche 911 RSR-19 for Cooper MacNeil and Mathieu Jaminet. 

***With the Fuji WEC round canceled and replaced with a second Bahrain race later in the year, this weekend marks the only direct WEC/IMSA GTLM clash for the German squad.

***The 2019-spec Porsche holds the Lime Rock GTLM track record (49.133 seconds) set by Laurens Vanthoor, who returns to the circuit but in Pfaff Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R in GT Daytona.

***GTD points leader Robby Foley is coming off competing in last weekend’s International GT Open round at the Hungaroring. Foley and Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS co-driver Michael Dinan are taking part in a partial season program in a TF Sport-run Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

***The results from the WeatherTech 240 were only made official last Wednesday following the validation of undisclosed components from several DPi cars at NASCAR’s R&D center in Concord, N.C. 

***IMSA’s annual ‘State of the Sport’ address will return to an in-person event at Road America next month. The event, where the 2022 schedules are expected to be announced, is set for Aug. 6 at 6:45 p.m. at the Tufte Center.

***Harry Tincknell has become Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s reserve driver in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, adding more fuel to the fire that Tincknell will be part of the German manufacturer’s LMDh program in 2023.

***IMSA President John Doonan made an appearance at the New York City E-Prix last weekend.  

***The first round of the HPD GT3 Driver Academy wrapped up Wednesday at Mid-Ohio, which saw four new hopefuls take part in the second season of the academy. 

***Former IMSA team owner/driver Michael Avenatti has been sentenced to 30 months in prison on charges of extortion, transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort and wire fraud. Avenatti made national headlines while serving as the attorney for Stormy Daniels in a lawsuit against then-U.S. President Donald Trump.

***Despite being on the entry list, the No. 40 PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4 is not taking part in this weekend’s Michelin Pilot Challenge race due to the car’s recent uncompetitive form. It will mark the first Pilot Challenge race without a Mustang in the field in recent memory.

***The James Pesek and Chad McCumbee-driven Mustang GT4, however, is due to be back at the next round at Road America.

***Both father-and-son JR and James Pesek are busy at work in the finalization of the new Ozarks International Raceway in Gravois Mills, Mo. The circuit is expected to play host to multiple sports car racing series starting next year, including SRO America.

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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