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Road America Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday notebook from Road America…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Andrew Palmer has been a last-minute substitute for Flying Lizard Motorsports team principal Seth Neiman in the No. 35 Audi R8 LMS this weekend. The 19-year-old rising star, who currently sits third in the Pirelli World Challenge championship, will team with Dion von Moltke in what will be his first TUDOR Championship start. Neiman, who suffered pulled muscles and was also forced out of the race at Indy, is expected to return for the VIR round later this month.

***BAR1 Motorsports has withdrawn its Prototype Challenge entry this weekend due to lack of funds. The Brian Alder-led crew will instead focus efforts on its IMSA Prototype Lites entry at Road America, with plans to return to PC competition at VIR with Doug Bielefeld. Alder said he’s working on returning to a two-car PC operation for COTA and Petit Le Mans.

***The withdrawal of the No. 88 BAR1 entry leaves nine PC cars and a 50-car field. The No. 71 Park Place Motorsports Porsche, which also appeared on the entry list with to-be-announced drivers, is also a non-starter. Starworks Motorsport team owner Peter Baron, meanwhile, said that Alex Popow could join Martin Fuentes and John Martin in the No. 7 entry this weekend.

***GMG Racing is preparing a likely return to TUDOR Championship competition for the season-ending Petit Le Mans. The team’s GTD class Audi R8 LMS took part in the opening two rounds but has since focused on Pirelli World Challenge. Team owner James Sofronas said he’s working on finalizing the lineup for the 1,000-mile/10-hour race.

***IMSA co-founder John Bishop was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America last night in Detroit. Bishop recently passed away at the age of 87. IMSA chairman Jim France and vice-chairman Don Panoz, meanwhile, received the Bob Russo Heritage Award for recognition of their long-term support of sports car racing.

***Longtime engine builder Bob Cronin, of CRD Engine Development, passed away this week after a battle with cancer. Cronin, who was affiliated with the success of many GM-powered sports car programs, will be remembered in a celebration of life service on Monday at Concord First Assembly in Concord, N.C. at 7 p.m. ET. A live stream will be available, with more information to come on the CRD Facebook page.

***The annual Tour de Road America is set for Friday at 6 p.m. CT. A number of IMSA drivers are expected to take part in the annual charity bike ride, to benefit the Austin Hatcher Foundation, which is an official charity of IMSA.

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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