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Road America Saturday Notebook

John Dagys’ Saturday notebook from Road America…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

***The No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 is ready to go for tomorrow’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, having completed chassis repairs some 12 hours earlier than expected following Katherine Legge’s heavy crash in final practice this morning. “Sitting here at 10 a.m., I thought we were pulling an all-nighter but they got it done well before that,” said Mike Shank. “It’s just a huge effort by a bunch of people pushing in the same direction.”

***Legge and co-driver Andy Lally will start from the rear of the GT Daytona grid tomorrow. The team received help from RealTime Racing in the rebuild, with crew from the nearby Saukville, Wis.-based squad lending a helping hand in the swift repairs.

***Lone Star Racing’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 is also expected to be good to go for the race after battling cooling issues in final practice and qualifying. The Texas-based team replaced the car’s entire cooling system after being unable to set a lap in the GTD qualifying this afternoon.

***The Cadillac DPi-V.Rs have been running less downforce in the last three races than at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, according to Sunday’s pole-sitter Ricky Taylor, who said the low aero has put the Cadillac back in the “ballpark” of top speed, patricianly at a place like Road America.

***IMSA has mandated revised aero levels for the Cadillac DPi, as part of its Balance of Performance for the Prototype class. “There’s no replacement for downforce and power,” Taylor told Sportscar365. “Although we are running as much downforce as we can run, we always wish we can have a little more.”

***Ricky and Jordan Taylor are coming off a season-low 7th place finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park after a late-race accident, yet still hold a 19-point lead in the championship. “I think the tough part was the momentum that was built up in the first half of the year,” Ricky said. “We’re trying to get that back. The team wants to win the championship so badly and they’re squeezing every little bit out of the car.”

***Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s 1-2 qualifying run in GT Le Mans, its first front row sweep since the Rolex 24 at Daytona, has come after a Balance of Performance change to the Ford GT, which has gained a slight increase in turbo boost for this weekend. It was the only BoP change made since the last round at Lime Rock Park.

***James French and Pato O’Ward can lock up the Prototype Challenge championship on Sunday, one race early, ahead of the category’s finale at Petit Le Mans in October. A class win, or second place finish if the No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09 of Don Yount finishes third, would be enough claim the title, while they would need to win the race and have the No. 26 BAR1 entry finish third for Performance Tech to clinch the teams’ title.

***The No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, which qualified 11th in the GT Daytona class, behind the No. 33 Riley Team AMG entry, is an un-raced chassis, according to Cooper MacNeil. “The whole last week we’ve had to update [the car],” he told Sportscar365. “There’s so many updates since the car was bought we had to focus on that.”

***MacNeil said one of their Porsches from last year remains as a spare, with the other chassis having been sold to CORE autosport.

***Continental Tire shipped in 290 additional wet weather tires overnight, in anticipation for a wet race tomorrow. Forecasts currently call for a 60 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms, following a rain-soaked Friday and intermittent showers Saturday afternoon.

***The Taylor brothers have announced the launch of the “BadFast Podcast” a new motorsports show with RaceDay Nation’s Rob D’Amico as host alongside the two WTR Cadillac drivers. The bi-weekly podcast features Jeff Gordon in the first episode, which is already available. Continental Tire is supporting the new project. 

***Onroak Automotive will be offering incentives to its European LMP2 customer teams taking part in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona on top of IMSA’s “36 Hours of Florida” promotion. Shop space at its North American headquarters in Denver, N.C. will be made available, along with travel and logistical assistance, according to Onroak NA’s Market Manager Ethan Bregman, who expects multiple teams to take advantage of the offer.

***BMW’s evo kit for the M6 GT3, which was announced last week, “widens the window of operation” for the car, according to BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “It was performing extremely well in the hands of pros but for sure we could have some potential for improvement for amateur drivers, and this is what the focus on the update package was really on.”

***Jens Klingmann and Philipp Eng completed the final test with the new package last month at the Lausitzring in a back-to-back test, with both drivers “extremely positive” on the new mechanical, aero and system-related updates, according to Marquardt.

***Lamborghini, meanwhile, has no plans to roll out with an evo kit for its Huracan GT3 in the near future, according to its Head of Motorsport Giorgio Sanna, who said it has a commitment to its customers to remain in the current configuration through at least the end of 2018. “At the moment we have to respect the FIA homologation road map, which is based on three years,” Sanna said.

***While having been a challenge at times, Sanna has praised IMSA’s efforts in Balance of Performance this year. “In my opinion, IMSA has the most advanced technical instruments to evaluate the BoP,” he said. “We can just continue to work very closely to them.”

***Today’s auction for Camp Anojikig at the Road America Corvette Corral raised more than $43,500 for the camp located in nearby Plymouth, Wis. The funds will go toward a new ventilation system in the campground’s kitchen and dining commons.

***Corvette Racing Crew Chief Dan Binks is both a board member and former camper, as was his father Phil before him. “I can’t say enough about the generosity of everyone who participated at this year’s auction,” Binks said. “It’s really encouraging to be able to improve the experience of our thousands of campers and the Anokijig staff. This means so much to me, my family and everyone at the camp.”

***Be sure to download Andy Blackmore’s Spotter’s Guide, featuring all 35 starters for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase. Click Here to download the guide.

***FOX Sports 1 will carry live coverage of the race, beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. International viewers can tune into for full coverage featuring commentary from IMSA Radio.

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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