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Mid-Ohio Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday IMSA notebook from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

***While rain greeted IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams in the morning and early afternoon, a drying track saw competitors transition to Michelin slicks in the second session, which ended under damp track conditions.

***Both the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing and No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.Rs did not take to the track in either session today, owing to the changing conditions, while numerous cars that did turn laps, including the No. 19 Moorespeed Audi R8 LMS Evo (pictured above), found the mud. 

***Rain is not in the forecast for the remainder of the weekend.

***Several cars battled electrical gremlins on Friday, potentially due to the wet weather. It included the No. 3 Corvette C7.R, which replaced the gearbox actuator between sessions today after a failure was detected in opening practice.

***No fewer than nine GT Daytona class cars are set to take part in the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup, which debuts this weekend. A handful of teams, including Meyer Shank Racing and Park Place Racing, have yet to decide on their participation for next month’s round in Detroit, which is a Sprint Cup-only round for GTD.

***GTD teams are not required to nominate themselves for the Sprint Cup, although must contest every event in order to be eligible for the series-specific points and prize money. 

***Paul Miller Racing completed a test of a second brand-new Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo at Mid-Ohio last month, although it currently has no active plans to race it, according to Paul Miller. Team manager Mitchell Simmons told Sportscar365 that car, which was numbered No. 49, was purchased primarily as a spare chassis.

***Sportscar365, however, understands the team had been primed to run a second car in the Sprint Cup races this year for Ryan Hardwick, who has since moved over to the team’s full-season Lamborghini following Madison Snow’s IMSA-adjusted driver rating and subsequent retirement from top-level competition.

***A total of five drivers have already signed up to test Flying Lizard Motorsports’ new Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo in its new development program with Lamborghini Squadra Corse. Both Flying Lizard program manager Darren Law and Automobili Lamborghini America motorsport senior manager Chris Ward said the initial feedback has been “extremely positive”.

***Marco Seefried, who makes his Mid-Ohio debut this weekend, could contest additional races in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, according to the team’s director of operations Mike Johnson, who has cited several upcoming conflicts for team owner/driver Patrick Lindsey.

***Johnson said that Lindsey, who is on FIA World Endurance Championship duty this weekend, could miss additional WeatherTech Championship races, or even relinquish his seat altogether in the remaining Sprint Cup races to the Silver-rated German.

***Seefried revealed that he was initially slated to complete a three-race WEC program with Black Swan Racing leading up to and including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, prior to Tim Pappas’ accident at Bathurst that has sidelined the team/owner driver with multiple injuries.

***Pappas, Seefried and Patrick Long were scheduled to contest the French endurance classic in a Dempsey Proton Racing-entered Porsche 911 RSR, which is understood to have now gone to Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson, who are set to team up with the American Porsche factory driver in the GTE-Am class entry.

***Long’s Luftgekühlt 6, scheduled for May 11, has already sold out for all car 
and pedestrian tickets. The event, now it is sixth year, celebrates all-things from the era of air-cooled Porsches. This year’s event will be held at Universal Studios Backlot in North Hollywood, with several classic air-cooled Porsche race cars having been organized.

***Porsche could expand its presence of single-make championships in North America with the addition of a Carrera Cup by as early as 2020. Multiple sources have told Sportscar365 that series, based on Mobil 1 Porsche Supercup regulations, is in the works. A Porsche spokesperson declined comment when asked on the subject.

***It’s unclear if IMSA, or another U.S.-based organization would serve as the sanctioning body. 

***Performance Tech Motorsports has a special guest this weekend in Be the Match ambassador Quinton O’Donnell. The non-profit organization is dedicated to finding marrow transplant donors and matching them to blood cancer patients in need. O’Donnell was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in February 2015 at the age of 16 and is currently searching for an unrelated bone marrow donor, for an allogenic transplant.

***Eric Curran is set to complete the Tire Rack One Lap of America, an eight day, 3,400-mile journey that kicks off tomorrow. The reigning IMSA Prototype champion will be at the wheel of a Whelen Engineering-liveried Corvette road car alongside co-driver Steve Loudin in the event, which features 18 timed competitions.

***McLaren Customer Racing has launched new social media channels ahead of the McLaren 720S GT3’s North America debut this weekend with Compass Racing. The British manufacturer’s global customer racing efforts can now be followed on Instagram (@McLaren_CustomerRacing) and Twitter (@CustomerRacing).

***A total of 33 Porsche-built race cars are in action this week across the WeatherTech Championship (two GTLM, two GTD), Michelin Pilot Challenge (three GS) and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama (26).

***Michelin has brought approximately 4,700 tires to Mid-Ohio for this weekend, which sees the return of the GT Daytona class and Pilot Challenge since Sebring. A total of 97 cars entered across the WeatherTech Championship, Pilot Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge are on Michelins.

***DPi, LMP2 and GTLM teams are limited to ten sets of slick tires, with the prototypes on the allocated medium compound this weekend. GTD, meanwhile, sees a seven-set enforcement of the Michelin Pilot Sport GT S8M compound.

“Mid-Ohio is a classic, natural terrain road course but with an interesting variety of pavement patches, and that makes some spots tricky for grip,” said Ken Payne, Michelin North America motorsport technical director.

***Justin Bell and Tommy Kendall’s “The Torque Show” is again on-site this weekend, with multiple live airings on the MotorTrend Facebook page. Check it out on Saturday at 12:45-1:45 p.m. EDT and again on Sunday at 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., along with a bonus post-race episode streaming on the show’s Facebook page.

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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