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Road America Saturday Notebook

John Dagys’ Saturday TUSC notebook from Road America…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***With IMSA confirming the class structure for the next two years on Friday, the latest talk in the paddock indicates that the 2015 schedule is in the process of being finalized and could be released tomorrow. Look for the potential of one fewer round for each class, as part of a cost-cutting measure for teams, with the series potentially not returning to at least one existing venue on the 2014 calendar.

***IMSA will have a “series of major announcements involving the TUDOR Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge” tomorrow at 11 a.m. CT.

***Gustavo Yacaman’s off to end the Saturday morning practice came as a result of a suspension issue, with the front lower control arm breaking and sending him off course. Fortunately, the Morgan-Nissan did not sustain serious damage but required a splitter change after the Colombian nosed the car into the tire barriers at Canada Corner. Olivier Pla qualified the car third.

***RSR Racing team principal Paul Gentilozzi confirmed to Sportscar365 Jack Hawksworth will stay in the No. 08 Oreca FLM09 at the Circuit of the Americas and Petit Le Mans rounds of the season. Hawksworth is unavailable for VIR due to his IndyCar commitments at Sonoma; Gentilozzi did not confirm a driver for the No. 08, alongside Chris Cumming, at that race.

***Gentilozzi said they are still looking towards a move to the FIA WEC in LMP2 next year, despite IMSA’s extension of the Prototype Challenge regulations through 2016. Chris Cumming is among the drivers interested in the potential program, which weighs on whether the class will continue with Pro-Am enforced driver classifications.

***Corvette Racing will run its test car, its third chassis, for its FIA World Endurance Championship appearance at Circuit of the Americas next month. Ricky Taylor had a fitting in Oliver Gavin’s seat this weekend, and is expected to use that as he shares the car with brother Jordan and Tommy Milner, Gavin’s regular co-driver, in the six-hour enduro.

***A brake issue limited the running for the No. 78 Starworks Motorsport Riley-Honda of James Hinchcliffe and Scott Mayer in the morning. Hinchcliffe said it was likely he’ll be in the car for Petit Le Mans, but did not confirm his presence for Circuit of the Americas next month.

***Flying Lizard Motorsports had a difficult Saturday for its No. 35 Audi R8 LMS ultra. A suspension issue limited running in morning practice and a fire interrupted its running during the pre-qualifying practice later in the afternoon. It leaves Andrew Palmer, in his series and team debut, and Dion von Moltke having had very limited track time before Sunday’s race.

***OAK Racing team principal Philippe Dumas told Sportscar365 that its Ligier JS P2 HPD is en route to 8Star Motorsports’ shop in Pompano Beach, Fla., which the French squad uses as its U.S. base. While the team is seeking additional financial support, Dumas said it’s likely the car will run in the remaining two P class races at Circuit of The Americas and Petit Le Mans.

***Gustavo Yacaman, who currently sits fourth in the title race, will remain in OAK’s Morgan-Nissan for the remainder of the season, with the driver lineup of the expanded two-car effort still to be finalized. Dumas said they are currently talking to three U.S. teams that could run Ligiers next year, with one deal very close to being finalized.

***IMSA unveiled a concept for a second-screen TUDOR Championship App to manufacturers Friday evening. The design is modeled after the FIA WEC App, which provides live video, timing and scoring and on-board camera feeds to fans for a fee. It’s understood, however, that IMSA’s proposed App would be free if they achieve the desired financial support from manufacturers.

***OAK is set for an expanded FIA WEC program in Asia later this year, with a Morgan-Judd for the Six Hours of Fuji in addition to the previously confirmed Shanghai round. Keiko Ihra will take part in both races and will be joined by David Cheng in Shanghi. The remainder of the lineup for both races has yet to be determined.

Tony DiZinno contributed to this report

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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