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Road Atlanta Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday notebook from Road Atlanta…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Photo: Brian Cleary/

***Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup title contenders gathered for a photo shoot Thursday afternoon at the start/finish line. Points are awarded at the four, eight and ten-hour marks of the race.

***The top class in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will continue to be called Prototype (P) in 2017, with the IMSA-specific prototypes known as Daytona Prototype international. DPi cars and LMP2 cars will be eligible in the P class.

***IMSA confirmed that closed-cockpit LMP2 cars built between 2014 and 2016 will be grandfathered into the Prototype class for 2017, with open-cockpit cars no longer permitted past next year. It thus enables teams with cars such as the Ligier JS P2 and Oreca 05 an additional year of competition.

***Stevenson Motorsports team manager Mike Johnson told Sportscar365 no decisions have been made regarding the team’s plans for 2016. Johnson clarified that reports of them potentially running a Cadillac ATS-V.R GT3 would occur only if GM and Cadillac opted for the car to run within GT Daytona, and with Stevenson having been a GM-affiliated team, if GM asked the team to run it.

***As he was unable to serve his one-race suspension at COTA due to extenuating circumstances, Todd Slusher has been pulled from the BAR1 Motorsports entry this weekend by IMSA. Don Yount has replaced Slusher in the No. 16 entry.

***Alex Popow is now listed in both Starworks Motorsport PC entries, although the Venezuelan told Sportscar365 that it’s not yet determined if he’ll drive both cars in the race. Mirco Schultis has returned to the No. 8 car this weekend after missing COTA due to family obligations.

***Popow said he’s working on a potential European Le Mans Series LMP2 program with Starworks for next year and is also exploring other potential programs in Europe.

***At least one current front-running GT Daytona team could be making the step up to GT Le Mans next year.

***Fans will be able to sign the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the team’s transporter. The signatures will remain on the car for Saturday’s season-ending race in tribute to the fans.

***Ben Keating has filed a lawsuit against IMSA and SCRAMP following his race-ending incident at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May, when his Viper GT3-R hit a loose storm drain, causing considerable damage to the GTD class car.

***While Tequila Patron ESM is absent from Petit Le Mans for a second consecutive year, it’s still present in the IMSA Prototype Lites category. The four-car lineup includes three open-wheel drivers in Max Hanratty, Andrew Hobbs and James Dayson, and Naj Husain as fourth driver.

***Cooper MacNeil headed to Petit Le Mans this week fresh off a double race weekend last weekend. He finished second in Touring 2 of the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in a BMW E92 M3, and also competed at Porsche Rennsport Reunion V.

Tony DiZinno 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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