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Roar Before 24 Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday notebook from Daytona…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***The No. 4 Corvette C7.R did not return to action in the afternoon session following its fire, caused by a leak from the check valve. The Pratt & Miller squad anticipates having the car back on track tomorrow morning.

***Friday’s test saw the first laps for a number of brand-new cars, including the No. 67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, which went out in the hands of Ryan Briscoe in the afternoon session after getting a late start to the day. It is the third chassis completed by Multimatic, with two brand-new cars in build in the UK for the team’s WEC program.

***Mazda formally announced its switch to its new gasoline-powered engine Friday, which has been dubbed the MZ-2.0T. The AER-developed, 2.0-liter turbo has been in development for much of the past year and has completed nearly 4,000 test miles prior to this weekend’s Roar.

***Andy Priaulx, who is making his DP debut this weekend in the No. 01 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford DP, told Sportscar365 he may get his first laps in a Ford GT later this weekend, time-permitting. Priaulx was announced as one of the four full-season WEC drivers for the team’s GTE-Pro program earlier this week.

***IMSA set the final Balance of Performance for the Roar on Thursday, including finalizing the boost levels for turbo-engined cars. A new BoP system for turbos, based on boost ratios, has been introduced, which is aimed to provide a better balance in power curves.

***Tequila Patron ESM is not running one of its 2015 FIA WEC Ligier JS P2 chassis, and is instead utilizing OAK Racing’s Ligier-Honda (chassis No. 9) that debuted at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year. The car, running in bare carbon this weekend, arrived in the U.S. on Wednesday and is equipped with HPD’s enlarged 3.5-liter V6 twin-turbo powerplant.

***The team is expected to only contest Daytona and Sebring with the Ligier-Honda, before switching to Nissan-powered Ligier JS P2s for its second season in the WEC. Pipo Derani, who will be part of the WEC effort, makes his team debut this weekend alongside Scott Sharp, Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek.

***Change Racing, which makes its series debut with the new Lamborghini Huracan GT3, is utilizing selected crew from Grasser Racing Team, including its lead engineer, who took part in seven 24-hour races last year. “Gottfried [Grasser] has become a good friend of the team and we made a deal to have a few of his key guys come and work in parallel with us,” Change Racing team owner Robby Benton told Sportscar365.

***While Risi Competizione’s new Ferrari 488 GTE is still in build in Italy, selected crew members, including team manager Dave Sims and technical director Rick Mayer are on-site this weekend to gather data on the new-generation Prancing Horses, being run by Scuderia Corsa and SMP Racing.

***Davide Rigon and Olivier Beretta will complete Risi’s lineup for Daytona, joining the previously announced full-season pairing of Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella.

***The Ferrari 488 GTE and GT3 models are virtually identical, with the engine and splitter being the only differences. Additionally, it’s understood teams will be able to purchase an upgrade kit to adapt their GT3 car to GTE specifications, a first in the post-GT Convergence talk era.

***To mark BMW’s 100th anniversary, one of the BMW Team RLL-entered BMW M6 GTLM cars will be carrying the No. 100 this season. The second M6 will continue to use No. 25, in honor of the 3.0 CSL from BMW Motorsport’s first season of racing in the U.S. in 1975. The pair of factory entries will be running in bare carbon this weekend, with their liveries to be revealed prior to the Rolex 24.

***Confirmation of the DeltaWing’s full-season program brings the total number of expected full-season Prototype class entries to eight cars. A total of 13 P class cars are set to take part in the Rolex 24.

***Mercedes DTM driver Lucas Auer is testing with BAR1 Motorsports this weekend, in order to gain Daytona experience. The 21-year-old Austrian, who has made previous starts for Lotus/Kolles in the FIA World Endurance Championship, turned his first laps on Friday but is not expected to race later this month.

***While IMSA cars take to the Daytona high banks for testing, the main parking lot behind the new Daytona Rising is abuzz with shoppers, with a large-scale RV sale taking place. Everything must go, as the space is expected to be packed with race fans later this month.

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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