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Road America Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday notebook from Road America…

Photo: John Dagys

***Thursday’s activities at Road America was hampered by rain, with the Promoter Test Day for Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA canceled due to heavy showers and lightning and WeatherTech SportsCar Championship load-in delayed by more than two hours. Showers are again in the forecast for Friday, with a 50 percent chance of rain on Sunday.

***Michael de Quesada has rejoined Daniel Morad in the No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, taking the seat filled by Patrick Long at Lime Rock. De Quesada is set for his fourth start of the season and first since Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Morad and Long are coming off the team’s first podium finish since its class victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

***A total of 35 cars are set for this weekend’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, despite the brief appearance of the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE on the entry list, which is not here this weekend as expected. The Houston-based team is planning to return later this month at Virginia International Raceway.

***Gustavo Yacaman and Mark Kvamme, meanwhile, have been confirmed in the No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09 this weekend, alongside the team’s No. 20 entry of Don Yount and Buddy Rice, who returns after missing the most recent Prototype Challenge race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

***Visit Florida Racing completed a shakedown of its new Ligier JS P217 Gibson at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill. on Tuesday, with both Renger van der Zande and Marc Goossens turning laps. The No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier was also in attendance at the test.

***While lap times were not recorded, van der Zande said he was pleased with his first impressions of car and predicts it will be a step forward in performance and reliability. “We didn’t even [focus] on any lap times,” he told Sportscar365. “We got a good feeling for the car, the systems and it felt pretty good.”

***Team owner Troy Flis confirmed the Ligier is leased from Onroak Automotive and is the same chassis that Eurasia Motorsport campaigned at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Onroak President Jacques Nicolet, son and Onroak North America representative Pierre, plus Erik Maris. 

***The new Acura ARX-05 DPi completed a rollout last week at Paul Ricard. It’s understood the ORECA-built prototype is now en-route to Team Penske’s shop in North Carolina for the start of a North American-based testing program.

***Testing for another DPi contender, meanwhile, is set to get underway in Europe, with Joest Racing scheduled to begin development pf an updated-spec Mazda RT24-P later this month. The Multimatic-built prototype will be driven by Mazda’s current crop of full-season drivers, as the Japanese manufacturer focuses on testing and development for the remainder of the year with its new partnership with the ex-Audi LMP1 squad. 

***Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin return to the site of Corvette Racing’s dramatic GT Le Mans class victory last year, which saw Milner jump from fifth to first in the final five minutes to secure the team’s 101st win. “I still kind of shake my head and laugh about that,” he said. “All of the cards fell in my favor… It’s like hitting the jackpot three times in three laps. It’s a cool story to tell and fun to think back to a moment where it all went right for us.”

***IMSA will announce the 2018 WeatherTech Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge schedules tomorrow during a press conference at 12:15 p.m. CT. The announcement will be streamed live in

***Aside from last week’s announcement that Mid-Ohio will replace Circuit of The Americas on the calendar, no other major changes are expected, except for a reshuffle in the class structure at some events. It’s understood Long Beach is likely to revert to a Prototype and GT Le Mans-only race, due to paddock space restrictions.

***A number of high-ranking automotive and motorsports executives are expected to be in attendance this weekend. Included is, Dr. Michael Steiner, a member of the Executive Board for R&D for Porsche AG, who will be attending his first North American race. Steiner is responsible for oversight of all of Porsche’s motorsport activities worldwide. 

***Lamborghini is set to make a motorsports-related announcement next month, with the Italian manufacturer having sent out a “Save the Date” bulletin for Sept. 20. While speculation has increased that it could be confirmation of its Huracan GTE program, Squadra Corse has also been working on an update package for its Huracan Super Trofeo car, which will debut next year.

***Michael Shank Racing’s Andy Lally and Katherine Legge were among the IMSA-invited guests of Continental Tire at the MLS All-Star Game at Soldier Field in Chicago on Wednesday. Stevenson Motorsports’ Andrew Davis and Lawson Aschenbach also took part in pre-event promotions with an MLS-related Audi event at Autobahn Country Club on Tuesday.

***The Rolex 24 and Twelve Hours of Sebring were recently announced as among the 10 best motorsports events in the world by USA Today. Sebring was ranked 4th on the list, with the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic coming in 9th, ahead of the Daytona 500. Other event included the Baja 1000 (No.1), Indianapolis 500 (No. 3) and 24 Hours of Le Mans (No. 7).

***The annual Tour de Road America charity bike ride is set for 6 p.m. on Friday on the four-mile circuit. A fundraising goal of $25,000 has been established to help fight the efforts of pediatric cancer, with a number of drivers expected to take part in the ride. Click Here for more information. 

***Join Continental Tire on Saturday at 11:15 a.m. in the Continental Tire fan zone for a special announcement with Ricky and Jordan Taylor. The announcement will also be streamed live on Continental Tire’s Facebook page

Ryan Myrehn 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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