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Sebring Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday WeatherTech Championship notebook from Sebring…

Photo: Jamey Price/Lamborghini

Photo: Jamey Price/Lamborghini

***There’s been talk in the paddock about additional manufacturer interest in the new-for-2017 DPi formula, beyond the five interested automakers that Sportscar365 revealed last week. At least three other manufacturers, including one that recently launched a new GT3 car, have been evaluating potential DPi involvement.

***The ACO and IMSA have yet to release the final 2017 LMP2 and DPi regulations, which is understood to have been a major holdup among among manufacturers from officially announcing plans.

***BAR1 Motorsports has made a late change to its lineup, with Ryan Lewis replacing Tomy Drissi in the No. 20 Oreca FLM09. Team owner Brian Alder told Sportscar365 that Drissi had last minute business commitments.

***Luca Persiani has replaced Larry DeGeorge in the No. 27 Dream Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 this weekend. The Italian, who has prior GT experience with SMP Racing and AF Corse, joins the previously confirmed lineup of Cedric Sbirrazzuoli, Paolo Ruberrti and Lamborghini factory driver Fabio Babini.

***A total of 56 Silver or Bronze-rated drivers must take part in Thursday’s night practice in order to be eligible for the race. Click Here for the full list of drivers, per IMSA.

***The No. 11 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell and Richard Antinucci didn’t take part in the first practice due to a fuel leak. The car posted the 16th quickest time in the GTD class in Practice 2.

***In addition to its transporter woes, Starworks Motorsport had to send its No. 8 Oreca FLM09 back to Germany due to its carnet having expired. The chassis, owned by Mirco Schultis, arrived back in Florida earlier this month and had to be fitted with the new Motec electronics and upgraded engine package prior to this weekend.

***The last time an Oreca LMP2 car took part in IMSA competition came two years ago at Sebring, in Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s second and final race with its Oreca 03R Nissan. Team Penske came close to running an Oreca 05 at Daytona this year.

***Continental has a new rain tire available here this weekend, which could be put into use in the race, which currently calls for thunderstorms on Saturday evening. The prototype class has a brand-new configuration, while the GTD class moves to the previous-generation prototype tire.

***Prototype teams will be allowed to use 24 sets of tires (including dry and wet) over the weekend, with PC and GTD cars allocated 18 sets. Continental has designated Blacks as its dry tires, with Golds to be used for the PC class should it rain.

***The first phase of IMSA’s new timing and scoring system from Alkamel Systems has been rolled out this weekend. All timing screens at the track have adopted the system, which is used in series such as WEC, ELMS and Formula E. A full integration is expected to be made over the course of the season.

***IMSA’s Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama has announced two joint races this year at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and Watkins Glen, with the IMSA North American Cup being awarded to the driver who scores the most points overall in competition between the two championships.

***Dylan Murry was presented the 22nd Gorsline Scholarship by John Gorsline today at Sebring. The 15-year-old second generation driver, son of David Murry, will work with Dr. Jacques Dallaire of Performance Prime and Jim Leo’s PitFit Training, all courtesy of Gorsline Company.

***Bubba Burger was announced Thursday as the “Official Burger” of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and a Proud Partner of IMSA.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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