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Sebring Friday Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s notebook from Friday at Sebring…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***The last-minute nature of AIM Autosport’s return to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship this week means that some Daytona details from the former Level 5 Motorsports program carry over. The team’s No. 555 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 is a Level 5 chassis, and throughout the week, AIM’s quartet of drivers (including Townsend Bell, pictured above) have been wearing their Level 5 firesuits.

***Bryan Sellers becomes the first non-Porsche factory driver to race the manufacturer’s new 991-spec 911 RSR with Team Falken Tire returning to competition this weekend. Additionally, the 2013 Petit Le Mans race winners now sport white-rim wheels and a slightly revised livery.

***Michael Shank Racing’s Ozz Negri will race the Brazilian Stock Car Series next weekend at Interlagos in his native Brazil.

***On an additional Shank note, the team is carrying a special decal paying tribute to the late William Clay Ford, Sr. of Ford Motor Company, who passed away earlier in the week.

***Risi Competizione had to undergo its second rebuild of its Ferrari F458 Italia, this time after an incident in Friday morning practice. Ahead of qualifying, the team straightened the rear subframe, replaced the rear uprights, drive shafts and brakes, and assembled new rear ¾ bodywork panels and rear bumper with lights. Gianmaria Bruni qualified the No. 62 seventh in GT Le Mans.

***The last two Indy Lights champions, Tristan Vautier and Sage Karam, are both racing at Sebring for the first time since 2010, when both won open-wheel races here (Star Mazda and USF2000, respectively). Vautier is committed to SpeedSource for NAEC races; Karam’s remaining TUDOR Championship races for Chip Ganassi Racing are yet to be determined.

***The DeltaWing Racing Cars team marks a one-year anniversary of the launch of its DWC13 coupe this week, as the car originally premiered on display at Sebring in 2013.

***On another DeltaWing note, driver Andy Meyrick only arrived at Sebring at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, straight from Paul Ricard where he was testing the Bentley Continental GT3 in the Blancpain GT Series.

***RSR Racing has the pole in PC with Bruno Junqueira. Meanwhile, co-driver Duncan Ende, who already holds the unofficial “best paddock sideburns” title, is sporting a new “high-downforce setup” with a new mustache this week. Some of the team’s crew members also have some rather stellar facial hair.

***Beaux Barfield, who served as race strategist for NGT Motorsport at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, plans to do so for as many races as possible that don’t conflict with his role as IndyCar Race Director.

***Race sponsor Mobil 1 and Patron Spirits held partner events Thursday night to promote both the race and the second round of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship.

***Carolina’s catering service makes its first appearance at Sebring. Owned & operated by Carole Sauer, the gourmet dining eat-in for drivers and teams premiered at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last May.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony

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