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WeatherTech Championship

Monterey Pre-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ pre-race notebook from Monterey…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Photo: Brian Cleary/

***Ozz Negri led Prototype/GT Le Mans warmup, with the Michael Shank Racing driver reeling off a best lap of 1:19.834 in the 15-minute session. Richard Westbrook and Joey Hand made it a Ford 1-2 in GTLM. The session was interrupted early for two geese that were on the track.

***A separate warmup session is scheduled for Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona competitors at 1:50 p.m., following the P/GTLM race, and just prior to its own two-hour race later this afternoon.

***A number of cars will start from the rear of the field in their respective races for tire changes following qualifying. It includes both Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSRs (GTLM) as well as the No. 80 Lone Star Dodge Viper GT3-R, No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R and No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche (all GTD).

***Additionally, the No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan GT3, which Cedric Sbirrazzuoli qualified fourth in GTD, will start from the rear of the field as the team has elected to have co-driver Larry DeGeorge start the car. Grids: P/GTLM and PC/GTD.

***IMSA held an OEM council meeting on Friday evening in Monterey to outline its future strategy and possible evolutions to selected classes in three of its series. A memo was issued on Saturday, asking for feedback from its stakeholders based on considerations from the sanctioning body.

***The integration of the LMP3 platform is at the center of the evaluation, which could see the entry level prototypes be placed in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge by as early as next year and the elimination of Prototype Challenge in the WeatherTech Championship in 2018.

***While LMP3 currently does not have a place to race in America, there appears to be early interest. According to an Onroak spokesperson, multiple Ligier JS P3s have been sold to customers in the U.S., including one to Mike Guasch. A handful of Ginetta LMP3s are also currently Stateside, with production of the Charlotte, N.C.-built Ave-Riley AR-2 set to begin shortly.

***IMSA President and COO Scott Atherton told Sportscar365 that representatives from IMSA are unlikely to meet face-to-face with the ACO until the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, due to their busy schedules.

***The two organizers have still yet to agree on the final details of the proposed DPi/LMP2 platform, with a disagreement over DPi electronics at the center of the issue. “I share the same confidence now that I did before. We’ll get this fixed; we’ll get it resolved.,” Atherton told Sportscar365. “We’ll come through this period and have closure on these handful of open items we have.”

***FOX Sports 1 will carry live coverage of the P/GTLM race on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. The two-hour PC/GTD race will be live on FS2 at 6:30 p.m. ET, with IMSA Radio providing full coverage of both races as well.

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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