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Road America Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday notebook from Road America…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Only 41 of the initially entered 44 cars are set for this weekend’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, following the late withdrawal of the No. 540 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R and both No. 11 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and No. 68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE cars, both which feature as full-season entries but are not taking part again.

***Alex Job Racing has expanded into a three-car operation this weekend, its first since the 2012 ALMS season. The No. 77 WeatherTech Porsche 911 GT3 R of Gunnar Jeannette and David MacNeil is a one-off entry, although a brand-new chassis, the 16th and final Porsche 911 GT3 R for the North American market this year. David MacNeil also owns chassis No. 1, which is un-raced.

***Both Jeannette and MacNeil shook the car down at the WeatherTech International Challenge with Brian Redman at Road America last month, in anticipation for this weekend’s race.

***The pair of Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs are sporting decals in memory of Chris Amon, who passed away earlier this week at the age of 73. Amon, who gave Ford its first victory at Le Mans in 1966, sent letters to all of the Ford drivers prior to this year’s French endurance classic, and watched the historic victory from his home in New Zealand.

***The No. 66 Ford of Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller continues to be the same chassis that claimed GTE-Pro class victory at Le Mans, although there is intention for it to be eventually replaced by a new chassis. No word has been given on the timeline, so the Le Mans winner can be put into a museum.

***The Mazda Prototypes, as well as the No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM car, are back to their normal liveries this weekend, after both debuting throwback liveries at last month’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and running them through the recent events.

***The 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule, along with future platform news, will be announced during a press conference in the new Road America victory lane tomorrow at 11:45 a.m. CT.

***Progress continues on the 2017 LMP2 front, with Onroak Automotive confirming that its Ligier JS P217 will have its first shakedown in early September, ahead of a full development program. The car will initially run with the spec Gibson engine, which will be delivered to the French constructor later this month.

***Orion Energy Systems is serving as primary sponsor for the No. 16 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Spencer Pumpelly and Corey Lewis this weekend. Both drivers, and the GTD class car, were at a company event at its headquarters in nearby Manitowoc earlier this week.

***Viuing, IMSA’s new portable streaming device which debuted as a beta program at Sebring, will be officially rolled out this weekend to the public. The devices will be on sale in the vendor village inside the paddock, starting at $14.90. Three different versions are offered.

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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