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November Daytona Test Monday Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s notebook from Monday ahead of November Daytona test…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Photo: Brian Cleary/

***While Chip Ganassi Racing and Ford are yet to formally confirm their drivers for the new Ford GT, the identities of which appear to be something of an open secret at this point, Sportscar365 did spot Sebastien Bourdais, Dirk Mueller and Billy Johnson on site at the CGR/Ford garage in the paddock.

*** Racing will test only Marc Goossens and Ryan Dalziel, its two new drivers, this week. Team principal Troy Flis told Sportscar365 he plans to have a third and/or possible fourth driver test no earlier than the Roar Before the Rolex 24 in January.

***The Racing third driver from this year, Mike Rockenfeller, has arrived at the test and headed over to the Audi Sport customer racing Audi R8 LMS entry. The new Audi is one of several cars that does not have drivers listed for this test.

***Andy Lally of new Audi Sport customer team Magnus Racing is here; however, it is unlikely that either he, co-driver John Potter or any potential Stevenson Motorsports drivers will test the new Audi themselves. Lally told Sportscar365 he expects to oversee the car, and get acquainted with the machinery, but is unlikely to drive; he’s also nursing a finger injury.

***Michael Shank only took delivery of his new Ligier JS P2 chassis last week, following its arrival from Onroak Automotive. The team may not test the car on Tuesday if rain falls, given the team is fresh off a trying, challenging weekend at Road Atlanta that featured several accidents.

***Shank also told Sportscar365 his fourth driver for the Rolex 24 at Daytona is confirmed, but will be announced at a later date. “It’s a good one,” Shank teased.

***Though not confirmed, Tim Pappas and Nick Catsburg of Black Swan Racing are expected to test the No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 this week, in preparation for their first season together with BSR’s new Porsche 911 GT3 R. This is a way for Pappas and Catsburg to get acquainted prior to their first run once BSR receives its chassis. The No. 007 is on site, now adorned in a black livery with purple trim; the blue colors from the season are removed.

***While unlikely to attend this week’s test, Christina Nielsen will reveal her 2016 race program on Tuesday. The young Dane, who finished second in this year’s GT Daytona championship, has been heavily linked to a move from TRG-AMR North America to Scuderia Corsa.

***IndyCar rising star Jack Hawksworth and IMSA Prototype Lites driver Robert Alon will test Starworks Motorsport’s No. 88 Oreca FLM09 in Prototype Challenge, per team principal Peter Baron. Starworks was initially listed on the safety inspection, then not posted to the pre-event entry list, but does have a PC car here.

***DeltaWing Racing Cars said on Monday it will have a “surprise driver” here as well, but has not revealed that driver’s identity. Perhaps surprisingly, the DeltaWing is still in Claro/Tracfone livery ahead of this test; the team was due to retain that branding through at least the end of the calendar year.

***The No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R has arrived in plain white livery, sans either the or TI Automotive colors it wore throughout 2015.

***Michael Mills, past Pirelli World Challenge GTA champion, is here this weekend to see the Autometrics Motorsports Porsche 997 GT3 R. Mills won the 2014 class title in that car; he has coached Joseph Toussaint, who is due to test the car, before.

***Tuesday’s test begins with a three-hour session from 9 a.m. to noon, before a lunch break and a four-hour afternoon session from 1 to 5 p.m.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony


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