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Roar Before Rolex 24 Weekend Notebook

John Dagys’ post-test notebook from the Roar Before the 24…

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***There was much talk, and some concern in the paddock over IMSA’s new “sandbagging” rule, which gives the sanctioning body the right to issue an in-race time penalty of at least five minutes for any team found to deliberately influence the BoP process or not display the car’s true performance at the Roar.

***The debuting SpeedSource Mazda P2 cars had a challenging weekend, with teething issues for the SKYACTIV-D-powered prototypes preventing any significant running time. The No. 70 entry of Sylvain Tremblay, Tristan Nunez and Tristan Vautier posted a best time of 1:48.882, which was some ten seconds off the pace-setting DPs.

***Sports car racing legend Hurley Haywood has joined Dempsey Racing as a consultant for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds. The five-time Rolex 24 winner had previously been an instrumental part of Brumos Racing, which has elected to sit out the 2014 season.

***Level 5 Motorsports’ Oreca FLM09 car didn’t turn any laps this weekend, as the inaugural Prototype Challenge championship team has yet to sign customers for the Rolex 24 or the season. The team’s two Ferrari GTD cars, however, made an encouraging debut, each logging roughly 250 laps.

***James Gue turned laps in CORE autosport’s Oreca FLM09 on Sunday, with an eye towards joining Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and Mark Wilkins for the race. CORE, like many PC and GTD teams, are awaiting the release of the driver rankings to finalize their lineups.

***TRG-AMR debuted its second brand-new Aston Martin Vantage GT3, fresh from the Prodrive factory. Full-season pilots James Davison and Al Carter were joined by Aston Martin Racing factory pilot Jonny Adam, NAEC driver David Block, plus Brandon Davis, Joel Janco and Max Riddle in the two V12-powered entries.

***2013 Indy Lights runner-up Gabby Chaves turned his first laps in the DeltaWing, with the hope of returning later this month to join the already confirmed lineup of Andy Meyrick, Katherine Legge and Alexander Rossi. The Don Panoz-owned effort impressed with competitive lap times in the 1:40 range.

***Extreme Speed Motorsports’ David Brabham will be making his first Rolex 24 start since taking a class win in the 2003 edition in the first-ever Daytona Prototype race.

***While delivery was delayed due to an issue with the courier, the new IMSA Leader Lights 2.0 system, developed by, were tested on the No. 49 Spirit of Race/AF Corse Ferrari on Sunday, among other cars, in anticipation of a full rollout beginning with the Rolex 24.

***Dempsey Racing team co-principal Joe Foster told Sportscar365 there’s currently a 50/50 chance of the team returning to the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, but is dependent on securing a budget. If given the green light, Foster said it would be with the same 2012-spec Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and alliance with Proton Competition for the GTE-Am class.

***It’s understood there’s another TUDOR Championship team that’s also trying to put the pieces in place for a Le Mans program before the Jan. 14 entry deadline. If the undisclosed program materializes, it would mark their debut in the twice-around-the-clock French endurance classic.

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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