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Road Atlanta Pre-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ pre-race notebook for Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda…

Photo: DarrenPierson.com

Photo: DarrenPierson.com

***The No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda, with a repaired rear portion of the car and a bare carbon fiber engine cover now adorning the car, returned to morning warmup albeit not for long. Ozz Negri spun through the Esses in the repaired car and contacted both the right front and rear, with suspension damage reported.

***The Shank crew is now thrashing to get the car repaired for the start of today’s race. Follow @Sportscar365 for the latest updates.

***Nick Tandy led the way in the 20-minute warmup session, pedaling his No. 911 Porsche to a quick time of 1:32.132 to go quickest overall. Mike Rockenfeller (VisitFlorida.com Racing), Alex Riberas (Team Seattle/AJR) and Renger van der Zande (Starworks Motorsport) led their respective classes.

***A spin by Alex Popow in the No. 88 Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09 brought the session to an early end. Only 24 of the 36 cars turned laps in the rain-soaked sessions, with both Mazda and BMW Team RLL entires not electing to venture out.

***The No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR returned to the track for morning warmup, following a repair by the Walker Racing crew at a local body shop. Bryan Sellers told IMSA Radio the team was at the track working until 5 a.m. for its final outing under the Falken banner.

***Both the Nos. 911 and 912 Porsche 911 RSRs returned to the track in morning warmup. The No. 911 Porsche lost its qualifying position due to a ride height infringement found in post-qualifying technical inspection, while the new No. 912 chassis took its first laps after being brought in to replace Earl Bamber’s damaged car from qualifying, which took class pole.

***Alternator issues for the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford DP will mean the car will start from the pit lane. The team is currently assessing the situation.

***Turner Motorsport will start from the back of the field by design. The team opted to not qualify the No. 97 BMW Z4 GT3 in the treacherous qualifying conditions.

***Ryan Briscoe has been added to the second No. 4 Corvette C7.R last-minute, after previously only being listed in the No. 3 car. Briscoe would now be eligible to repeat what he did last year, racing both cars at this event.

***November’s IMSA-sanctioned test is expected to mark the North American debuts of the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 and Mercedes-AMG GT3, alongside other GT3 machinery, including the possibility of the Cadillac ATS-V.R.

***The first set of drivers for a Huracán GT3 entry is expected to be announced next week. O’Gara Motorsports and Change Racing have been announced as the first two full-season entrants.

***Drivers competing in today’s Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda after running in Friday’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race include Spencer Pumpelly, Andrew Davis, Colin Thompson and Billy Johnson. Others who have competed in other races this weekend running today include Matt McMurry, John Falb, Don Yout and Madison Snow.

***Be sure to check out Andy Blackmore’s official Spotter Guide for today’s race, featuring all starters for the ten-hour race.

***Catch live coverage of the race on FOX Sports 2, beginning at 11 a.m. ET, before shifting to IMSA.com from 12-2:30 p.m. FS2 will pick up coverage again from 2:30-7 p.m., with the 7-8:30 p.m. shift back on IMSA.com. The final hour will be live on FS2.

***Flag-to-flag coverage will be made available on IMSA Radio, available here, along with on-board cameras.

Tony DiZinno contributed to this report

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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