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Pre-Sebring Test News Roundup

John Dagys explores the Sebring paddock ahead of tomorrow’s test…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***No fewer than 25 cars are set to take part in this weekend’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship pre-season test at Sebring. An updated list can be found here, although Marsh Racing had yet to arrive as of Friday afternoon.

***One team not on the list is Aston Martin Racing, which will put its WEC COTA class-winning Vantage V8 GTE car through its paces, with the hopes of gaining a NAEC entry. Darren Turner and David Heinemeier Hansson are scheduled to drive.

***Australian open-wheel ace James Davison will test TRG-AMR’s GT3-based Vantage V8 alongside Porsche club racer David Block this weekend, with an eye towards a potential full-season drive in the GT Daytona class.

***The No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP is expected to be the only Daytona Prototype to run in the full, proposed 2014 configuration, complete with the new diffuser, rear wing and carbon brake package. Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, recently confirmed as full-season drivers, will be joined by Sebastien Bourdais, who is believed to be in line for a Rolex 24 seat.

***Pickett Racing’s PC car mysteriously features a pair of Nissan GT Academy drivers, Bryan Heitkotter and Steve Doherty, slated to handle testing duties. While GT Academy programs for 2014 are still being finalized, it’s understood neither driver will not be part of this race lineup.

***The pair of brand-new Audi R8 LMS cars from Flying Lizard Motorsports will be turning its first laps. The team’s 2013 drivers Seth Neiman, Spencer Pumpelly, Dion von Moltke and Nelson Canache will be joined by Audi factory drivers Oliver Jarvis and Marco Bonanomi for the test, although no announcement has been made regarding its lineup for Daytona or for the season.

***Audi factory driver Benoit Treluyer, fresh off victory in last weekend’s Six Hours of Shanghai, will share the wheel of the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS with Bryce Miller in the test. PMR’s car is also a brand-new car.

***Project Libra has turned up with its Radical SR9 Ford, with the Ian Dawson-led crew set to take part in single-day tests at both Sebring and Daytona. Dawson said he has yet to submit an entry request and is waiting on the outcome of the tests. Nicolas De Crem and Robbie Kerr are listed to test.

***BMW Team RLL has brought both of its Z4 GTE cars to the test but will only likely focus on a single entry for Dirk Mueller, John Edwards and Andy Priaulx. Both Edwards and Priaulx are expected to be announced as new additions to the factory squad’s full-season driver lineup for next year.

***There are two Ferraris here running under the Michelotto banner, campaigned this year by Scuderia Corsa and Risi Competizione. Ferrari factory drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and Olivier Beretta are scheduled to handle driving duties of both the GT3-based and GTE cars, with Alessandro Balzan slated to drive his championship-winning No. 63 entry.

***Former Dyson Racing engineer Vince Wood has joined Riley Motorsports and its new Viper GT3-R program for full-season drivers Jeroen Bleekemolen and Ben Keating. Marc Goossens is listed to also join the duo for the test, although primarily concentrating driving duties on the team’s solo factory GTS-R entry.

***The surprise of the weekend comes from Konrad Motorsport, which arrived with a brand-new Porsche 911 GT America. The German squad fielded Saleen S7-Rs in the early-to-mid 2000’s and started on the GT class pole in this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona as part of a combined effort with Orbit Racing.

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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