***The 2016 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship schedule will be released on Saturday evening during a “State of the Series” event at the Osthoff Resort. As previously revealed by Sportscar365, no major changes are expected to the calendar, except for some likely date shifts.
***Jeff Braun has traded his Mazda shirt to give CORE autosport a helping hand in its bid for a fifth consecutive Prototype Challenge title. The veteran engineer and strategist is being loaned out to CORE for the three remaining PC rounds. Jon Bennett and Jeff’s son, Colin, currently hold a three-point lead in the championship heading into the weekend.
***Mazda will field only a single diesel-powered SKYACTIV prototype this weekend, following another encouraging test for its gasoline-powered entry at Road America earlier this week. It’s believed the team could return to a two-car effort for the final two Prototype class races of the season.
***With the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America not present again, a total of 33 cars are set to take part in this weekend’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.
***The No. 16 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09 will have Matt McMurry and Daniel Burkett at the wheel. Both drivers are coming off podium finishes in their last Prototype Challenge class appearances; McMurry at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (with JDC/Miller Motorsports) and Burkett at Watkins Glen.
***Michael Shank Racing’s Ligier JS P2 Honda is carrying another new livery this weekend (pictured above), with U.S. AutoForce coming on board as a primary sponsor. U.S. AutoForce is a leading national wholesale distribution company specializing in a broad range of major brand aftermarket automotive products including brakes, exhaust, suspension parts and all of the major tire lines.
***Corvette Racing’s No. 3 chassis returns to action for the first time since its weekend-ending accident in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. The team had borrowed Larbre Competition’s Corvette C7.R, which had been used as the No. 3 entry for rounds at Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
***The four selected 2017 LMP2 constructors met for the first time last month in Paris, as part of the new working group formed between the manufacturers, FIA, ACO and IMSA. The new regulations are expected to be ratified by the FIA in December.
***Memo Rojas appears to be one of the hottest free agents on the market for 2016, with the former GRAND-AM champion, who carries backing from Carlos Slim’s companies, reportedly in talks with no fewer than three existing Prototype teams. No word has been given on what the implications could mean for the DeltaWing prototype, should the Mexican ace not return with the team next year.
***A handful of TUDOR Championship drivers enjoyed success in last weekend’s VLN round, including Nick Tandy, who earned SP7 class honors at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, as well as Mario Farnbacher, who teamed with brother Dominik for a runner-up overall finish in their new Lexus RC-F GT3.
***Scott Tucker’s legal case could be wrapped by as early as next month. A report by Reuters indicates that a settlement conference with the Federal Trade Commission over Tucker’s alleged online lending practices is scheduled for September. AMG Services and MNE Services agreed to a $21 million settlement in January.