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Sebring Test Notebook

John Dagys’ weekend notebook from TUDOR Championship testing…

Photo: Darren Pierson/DPerceptions

Photo: Darren Pierson/DPerceptions

***Marsh Racing’s updated Corvette DP turned its first laps Sunday, with the Eric Curran and Boris Said-driven entry ending up second quickest overall with a 1:55.688 lap time, despite battling paddle shift issues all day.

Like the Action Express car, the Whelen-sponsored entry ran with the new diffuser, tunnels and dual element rear wing, although no carbon brakes. Team owner Ted Marsh said he is unsure they’ll make that upgrade due to the increased costs associated with it.

***Extreme Speed Motorsports’ day was cut short due to a suspected fuel leak in their HPD ARX-03b. Teething issues with a new drive-by-wire throttle system, which is now legal in ACO P2 competition, also slowed down the Ryan Dalziel and Ed Brown-driven entry.

Dalziel posted a best time of 1:57.812, which was more than four seconds off the pace-setting DP. Team manager Robin Hill said a further two-second improvement may have been possible if they had not run into issues in the afternoon.

***It appears Paul Miller Racing will be able to retain sponsorship from watchmaker Chopard next year, despite Tudor’s new exclusivity contract in the series. Team owner Paul Miller said its longtime partner would be grandfathered in, should it commit to 2014.

However, an IMSA spokesperson said the decision is subject to final livery approval and that any team running an approved watch sponsor other than Tudor will forfeit their eligibility for the year-end prize fund.

***The word in the paddock is that P2 teams may have to run their Le Mans aero kits for more than just the previously indicated events at Daytona, Indianapolis and Road America, but the minimum weight of 960 kg could be reduced, depending on the final outcome of the BoP tests in the Prototype category. ACO-spec P2 cars run at 900 kg in the FIA WEC, ELMS and Asian Le Mans Series.

***Porsche Supercup star Kevin Estre turned laps in TRG-AMR’s Aston Martin Vantage GT3 this weekend, with team regular Damien Faulkner set to get his first taste of the V12-powered beast at Daytona. Both James Davison and David Block also had seat time in the No. 66 GTD entry.

***Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana will join Darren Turner in Aston Martin Racing’s Vantage V8 GTE car at Daytona. Turner and David Heinemeier Hansson completed a successful two-day test at Sebring, with the Dane eyeing a possible WEC program with the British manufacturer for 2014.

***Project Libra’s Radical SR9 Ford completed nearly 40 laps Sunday, with both Nicolas De Crem and Robbie Kerr getting seat time in the P2 car, which set a best time of 2:01.857. The car was running in low downforce trim, according to team boss Ian Dawson.

***The No. 30 NGT Motorsport Porsche 911 GT America suffered an accident on Sunday in the hands of Alex Mueller, although the GTD contender is expected to be repaired in time for the start of testing at Daytona on Tuesday.

***Muelhner Motorsport ran both of its new Porsche 911 GT Americas Sunday, with Randy Pobst and Kyle Marcelli both turning laps. They’ll be joined by Porsche Supercup driver  Norbert Siedler at Daytona.

***As many as 13 Porsche 911 GT Americas could take part in the GTD class, entries permitting. Nine cars are entered for the Daytona test, including an effort for Madison Snow and Jan Heylen run under the Snow Racing/Wright Motorsports/JDX banner.

***BMW Team RLL will have all four of its expected full-season drivers on hand in Daytona, with Bill Auberlen joining Dirk Mueller, John Edwards and Andy Priaulx in the pair of BMW Z4 GTE entries.

***A number of star drivers were seen cruising the paddock this weekend looking for rides for 2014, including Kyle Marcelli, Dane Cameron, Billy Johnson and 2013 IndyCar Rookie-of-the-year, Tristan Vautier.

***While not eligible for the TUDOR Championship, look for Audi to be testing its next-generation R18 LMP1 car at Sebring next 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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