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Road America Friday Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s Friday notebook from Road America…

Photo: Sam Cobb/BMW

Photo: Sam Cobb/BMW

***John Edwards and Lucas Luhr will have a Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation livery on their No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE this weekend. The fifth installment of the Paramount and Skydance Media movie franchise opened to No. 1 at the worldwide box office on July 31, and has already grossed more than $150 million in its first week of release.

***It’s not the only BMW livery note. BMW of North America will unveil the newly restored 2001 BMW M3 GTR (E46) “Stars and Stripes” liveried race car along with its long hidden road-going counterpart at the Legends of the Autobahn Concours D’Elegance in Monterey, California on August 14, as part of the company’s 40th anniversary celebration this year.

***Both the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09 and No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS resumed on track for the first practice session in the wet on Friday at Road America, marking both cars’ first on-track time since their accident at Lime Rock. Both cars were repaired within a week, with Miller’s team noting the damage could have been worse after the accident at the Downhill.

***In addition to the testing done at Road America earlier this week, both Michael Shank Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing tested last week at Road Atlanta.

***Having been announced as one of the drivers in Team ByKolles’ driver pool at the start of the year, Pierre Kaffer expects to race the remainder of the FIA World Endurance Championship season in the CLM P1/01 AER. The only question mark is Circuit of the Americas, the joint FIA WEC/IMSA weekend as Kaffer’s first priority will be to the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia in the TUDOR Championship.

***Risi kicked off the weekend with “Corse e Caffé” under their awning, which provided a good mix of coffee and other breakfast items.

***Christina Nielsen and Kuno Wittmer’s No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 will see increased Orion Lighting signage on the car. The company, based in nearby Manitowoc, will have a heavy presence on race day with more than 200 guests expected to come to the race.

***Continental Tire will be hosting two standout MLS players from the Chicago Fire on Sunday. Sean Johnson (goalie) and Lovel Palmer (defender) will be serving as Honorary Starter and Grand Marshal, respectively, for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase. Johnson is the 2014 winner of the Continental-sponsored ‘What’Cha Got’ series, hosted by Townsend Bell.

***Following Sunday’s race, both Johnson and Palmer will be making a road trip back to Chicago with Ricky and Jordan Taylor. Ride with the Taylor’s and Fire players via their social channels: Jordan (@jordan10taylor); Ricky (@RickyTaylor_10); Sean (@sjohn25); and Lovel (@lovelpalmer7).

***While having previously worn a simple blank firesuit in his last start at Watkins Glen, Daniel Burkett is bringing back a lumberjack firesuit – a full red and blue get-up – he has run in the last two Pro Mazda weekends at Iowa and Mid-Ohio. It gives the currently all carbon fiber No. 16 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09 a needed boost of color. Burkett spun and crashed in the first practice, however brought the car back to the pits having just lost the nose assembly.

John Dagys contributed to this report

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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