***BAR1 Motorsports was forced to withdraw its No. 88 Oreca FLM09 after Doug Bielefeld’s off course excursion at Turn 6 in practice. The tub was punctured and damaged beyond repair. Ryan Eversley, making his PC class debut, posted some impressive lap times in practice before the incident; Eversley’s first flying lap was within two tenths of Bruno Junqueira, who ultimately took the PC class pole.
***The BAR1 withdrawal leaves 31 cars for the PC/GTD race, 9 PC and 22 GTD. Meanwhile the P/GTLM will have 23, 12 P and 11 GTLM. It’s the same 21 there from Long Beach, plus the DeltaWing and Krohn Racing Ferrari.
***It will be a scramble for the Team Seattle/AJR No. 23 Porsche 911 GT America to make the grid after suffering an engine failure during morning warmup. The entry driven by Ian James and Mario Farnbacher qualified 11th in GTD.
***Same story applies for Starworks Motorsport’s No. 7 PC car. Driver Sam Bird wrote on his Twitter page before the race, “Not the best morning warmup ever. Martin [Fuentes] got hit and not sure we can make the race.”
***Matt Bell and David Calvert-Jones will share Muehlner Motorsports America’s No. 18 Porsche 911 GT America for Sunday’s race. Both were late adds; Saturday marked Calvert-Jones’ first time in one of Porsche’s new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship-specific chassis and his first time on Continental Tires.
***Gotta love the humor from the Taylor family and the entire Wayne Taylor Racing team. Here’s an Instagram video, “We Built this City.” Another classic “did they really do that?” type moment for Jordan, Ricky and crew. They also were part of a pre-race “tweet up” outside the WTR transporter this morning.
***Pierre Kaffer makes his first start with Risi Competizione since the 2009 Petit Le Mans, when he co-drove the team’s Ferrari F430 GT. In three TUDOR Championship races this season, Kaffer has now been part of three different cars – both of Starworks Motorsport’s PC cars (Nos. 7 and 8), and now Risi’s No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia he’ll share with Giancarlo Fisichella.
***Six teams have a chance to repeat their wins at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend, as both the American Le Mans Series and GRAND-AM Rolex Series raced in Monterey in 2013. Class winners seeking an encore include Wayne Taylor Racing (P), SpeedSource (P), PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports (PC), Corvette Racing (GTLM), MOMO NGT Motorsport (GTD) and Magnus Racing (GTD). SpeedSource won the GX class race with Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long last year, before shifting to its new Mazda SKYACTIV-D P2 development program.
***This race marks one year since Katherine Legge made her first start in the DeltaWing. A year later, the team returns with its coupe version following a successful test at Roebling Road in Savannah, Ga., where Gabby Chaves drove and the team focused on aerodynamic refinements.
***Luis Diaz, who joins 8Star Motorsports’ PC effort this weekend, makes his first TUDOR Championship start and first start overall since co-driving 8Star’s second Corvette DP at Watkins Glen last year with the late Emilio DiGuida.
***Lauren Elkins, formerly of Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, has landed at NGT Motorsport as a data engineer for what she termed, “An armada of seven IMSA GT3 Cup Porsches plus the GTD car.” Longtime Dyson Racing engineer Vince Wood also has a new home, working with Turner Motorsport.
***Continental will be hosting several San Jose Earthquakes Major League Soccer players at the track today; additionally, Ryan Friedlinghaus from West Coast Customs will be there this weekend.