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Mid-Ohio Saturday Notebook

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

Photo: Mid-Ohio

***Sebastien Bourdais claimed his third IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole in the last four races. The Frenchman explained he had to “push really hard, really early” in the run because of light rain that was leading to slippery track conditions. He added: “We’re definitely hoping for a clean start and keeping the Cadillac up front throughout the race.”

***The No. 01 CGR Cadillac rebounded from an electrical issue on Friday that resulted in the team changing the entire steering column during opening practice, which cost the car “80 percent” of the available track time in the session according to co-driver Renger van der Zande.

***Oliver Jarvis, who qualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 third, believed he had more potential which was “a bit frustrating.” The Englishman said he used up his Michelin tires a bit more than usual at the start of the session due to a rush to set a time amid the rainy conditions that teams were expecting to worsen.

***Jarett Andretti scored his first career IMSA pole, coming at the venue of his WeatherTech Championship debut last year when Andretti Autosport stepped up from IMSA Prototype Challenge competition. The team rebounded from an oil pressure sensor issue on Friday that led to no track running in the opening 90-minute practice session.

“It was harder than we expected for a while,” Andretti told Sportscar365 on getting his long-awaited first pole. “I thought we had some chances last year to get [pole] but we just had some things go wrong. Things come full circle. This was where we started the building process. It just takes a year to get spooled up.”

***Andretti confirmed that Gabby Chaves will complete the LMP3 season with the team, with Josh Burdon in for the two remaining Michelin Endurance Cup races at Watkins Glen International and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The two drivers’ roles have effectively been reversed from the initial plan.

***Ricky Taylor enters the weekend having won three of the last four races at Mid-Ohio, dating back to the Acura ARX-05’s first win in 2018 alongside Helio Castroneves with Team Penske. Taylor and Wayne Taylor Racing co-driver Filipe Albuquerque are defending race winners.

***A number of LMP3 teams are pulling double duty between the WeatherTech Championship race and the second round of the IPC season. Jr III Racing, Performance Tech Motorsports, Sean Creech Motorsport, AWA and MLT Motorsports all have entries across both series.

***Ari Balogh (Jr III), Dan Goldburg (Performance Tech) and Lance Willsey (Sean Creech) are the drivers competing in the two series this weekend.

***Memo Gidley scored pole for tomorrow’s 90-minute IPC race in the No. 23 JDC Motorsports Duqueine D08 Nissan, ahead of double-duty Goldburg. Click Here for the qualifying results.

***Several WeatherTech Championship drivers taking part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans have voiced their displeasure for a €3,000 ($3,100 USD) fine that’s set to be issued by the ACO for missing Saturday’s drivers briefing while they take part in the Detroit Grand Prix.

“It feels like a penalty for being part of IMSA, which is really strange as I thought IMSA and the ACO is this whole new marriage made in heaven,” a Le Mans-bound IMSA driver told Sportscar365. “It seems like we’re getting punished for racing in one of their partner series. The size of the fine is ridiculous. It’s almost disrespectful.”

***At least 20 full-time WeatherTech Championship drivers are scheduled to compete in this year’s French endurance classic, with more than a dozen set to be in Detroit and thus be subject to the fine by the ACO.

***HART, which competed in Michelin Pilot Challenge competition this weekend, brought out a pre-production 2022 Acura NSX Type S to Mid-Ohio, which is on display in the paddock. The NSX is built and assembled in at Honda’s Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC), which is located in nearby Marysville, Ohio.

***Pfaff Motorsports, which is not present this weekend due to the absence of GTD Pro, announced earlier this week a McLaren 570S GT4 entry for Zachary Vanier in the FEL Motorsports Sports Car Championship Canada presented by Michelin series, which kicks off next weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

***Porsche leads both the GTD Pro and GTD manufacturer standings after class wins at Laguna with Pfaff and Batavia, Ohio-based Wright Motorsports, which enters its home race this weekend with GTD points leaders Heylen and Ryan Hardwick. Acura and Cadillac, meanwhile, are tied for the points lead in DPi prior to the start of this weekend’s action.

***The Lexus Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio will be broadcast live on USA Network beginning Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, with Dave Burns and Calvin Fish in the booth and Parker Kligerman and Brian Till on pit lane. IMSA Radio’s coverage will feature the usual broadcast team of John Hindhaugh, Jeremey Shaw and Shea Adam.

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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