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WeatherTech Championship

Road Atlanta Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday notebook from Road Atlanta…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

***In addition to the DPs, Saturday’s race will also mark the final professional outings for a handful of other cars, including the Lola-based, Multimatic-developed Mazda Prototypes. The pair of SpeedSource-run prototypes have been the final Lola prototypes still in active competition in top-level sports car racing.

***The Dodge Viper GT3-R is set for its final WeatherTech Championship start as well, with Ben Keating, who put up the majority of IMSA’s required manufacturer marketing commitment, set to switch manufacturers in GTD next year. Lone Star Racing, which entered a Viper for four races this year, is also looking to switch GT3 brands.

***Porsche’s 911 RSR, meanwhile, will be taking part in its final race as a factory entry. The car, which debuted in 2014, has delivered 21 class victories and eight championship titles in 72 races under the works banner. A new-generation mid-rear-engined Porsche will debut next year in both the WeatherTech Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship.

***Mark Wilkins is the latest driver to potentially be linked with an Acura drive for next year. The Canadian could join Ozz Negri as Michael Shank Racing’s two designated Silver-rated drivers in the lineup. Katherine Legge, also currently rated Silver, has also been rumored as a possibility. MSR and Acura have yet to officially confirm lineups for either its factory WeatherTech Championship program or Pirelli World Challenge with RealTime Racing.

***Both the Acura NSX GT3 and 2017-spec Lexus RC F GT3 completed the FIA’s Balance of Performance test in Ladoux last week. The two new GT3 contenders were joined by Porsche’s new GTE car, which will be formally launched at the LA Auto Show in November.

***Porsche unveiled its next-generation 911 GT3 Cup car in a launch on Thursday at the Paris Auto Show. The car will be eligible for competition next year in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Porsche Carrera Cup Germany, and the first time in a launch year, the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama series.

***Newly crowned Mazda Prototype Lites Presented by Cooper Tires champion Clarke Toppe has received the IMSA Scholarship, which includes a full-season Premium Entrant package to take to a team in the WeatherTech Championship Prototype Challenge class next year. Toppe drives for JDC Motorsports, which will again field a PC car next year, while also expanding to Prototype with an Oreca 07 Gibson.

***Due to the ten-hour race length, Prototype class teams are allowed to use up to 23 sets of tires over the course of the weekend, with Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona cars permitted 19 sets. Continental Tire has brought more than 4,100 tires (slicks and wets combined) to Road Atlanta to accommodate the increased demand.

***Be sure to download Andy Blackmore’s official Spotter Guide, featuring all 38 entries for tomorrow’s race.

***Petit Le Mans race coverage will begin Saturday from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, before moving to FS2 from 2:30-6 p.m. ET. While the finish of the race won’t be broadcast on TV, the entire race will be available on FOX Sports Go with FS1 authentication.

***IMSA Radio will provide full flag-t0-flag coverage, with international viewers able to watch the race feed on and on-board cameras for everyone.

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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