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Sebring Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday notebook from Sebring…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Filipe Albuquerque’s pace-setting 1:49.759 time set on the opening day of the IMSA-sanctioned test at Sebring was reportedly more than 1 second slower than Action Express Racing’s best lap set in a private here in December. However, it’s unclear what power configuration the Cadillac DPi-V.R was running in at the private test, as the cars have faced a decreased air restrictor this week.

***Tequila Patron ESM sat out the afternoon session due to undergoing engine changes on both of its Nissan Onroak DPis after drops in oil pressure. Team manager Erin Gahagan told Sportscar365 the engine changes were both precautionary. Ryan Dalziel managed to set a 1:52.010 lap time in the No. 2 Nissan prior to the issue.

***While both Bruno Senna and Brendon Hartley are not in attendance this week, both will rejoin Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek in the No. 22 ESM entry for the race.

***While Ricky Taylor was notably absent from today’s test, it was for a good reason, as the 27-year-old took the wheel of Simon Pagenaud’s IndyCar championship-winning Dallara DW12 for a single-day test on the Homestead road course. It marked Taylor’s first laps in an IndyCar, and with Team Penske. Ricky is slated to join brother Jordan and new signing Alex Lynn for the second and final day of IMSA testing tomorrow.

***The pair of Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3s are running in bare carbon, although they are the same chassis utilized at Daytona. General Manager Tim Keene told Sportscar365 both cars have been rebuilt since the season-opener and will have their liveries re-applied prior to the race.

***Bill Auberlen and Alexander Sims have a new car, livery and car number for the remainder of the season, with their No. 19 BMW Art Car having been retired and the pairing now in the No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GT3, alongside Kuno Wittmer. The No. 25 car is a new chassis, with the John Baldessari-designed car set for a worldwide tour in art festivals.

***BMW of North America Motorsports Manager Victor Leleu told Sportscar365 that Wittmer is confirmed for Sebring and Petit Le Mans, but Nicky Catsburg, who teams up with John Edwards and Martin Tomczyk for next month’s race, “a candidate” for Petit Le Mans but not yet confirmed for the ten-hour season finale.

***The debut of Lone Star Racing’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 will not come at Long Beach as originally planned, as the team’s single-race entry has been rejected by IMSA. A series spokesperson told Sportscar365 that the Long Beach event will be open to “Premium” full-season entrants in Prototype, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona only due to limited paddock space.

***It’s understood an announcement on Lone Star’s revised schedule could come as early as next week. The team is expected to contest a minimum of four races with Dan Knox and Mike Skeen as drivers.

***Mark Schomann has joined DAC Motorsports as its new race engineer. The team, entered for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races, is coming off a solid series debut at Daytona, as the third highest-placed Lamborghini Huracan GT3 after swapping chassis overnight prior to the race.

***A total of seven Huracan GT3s are set for Sebring. Grasser Racing Team will only field a single Lamborghini, although Konrad Motorsport is set to return with its entry. Only Paul Miller Racing and Change Racing, however, are expected to be full-season efforts.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. Luna

    February 24, 2017 at 6:51 am

    Only two Lamborghini full season…
    Not surprised. So unprofessionally managed.

    • morningview66

      February 24, 2017 at 7:28 am

      Interesting comment, could you please clarify?
      Are you talking about Lamborghini in general or the teams running them?

      • Luna

        February 24, 2017 at 8:05 am

        Teams. Rolex 24,8 cars, they didn’t lead one single lap.
        But Lamborghini too does not do anything to improve the situation. They are happy to sell cars..

        • morningview66

          February 24, 2017 at 8:34 am

          You know I think I agree with you.

          I don’t want to beat on anyone too much, but Change, Konrad, EBI Motors, DAC and Dream Racing don’t seem to be among the cream of GT3 teams for whatever reason.

          Even Grasser the de faco Lambo works team are no WRT, HTP, AF Corse (other works backed teams).

          In terms of drivers and support offered to teams I am not convinced Lambo is as good as other OEM’s. Its like Lambo is the budget GT3/GTD option 🙂

          Anyone know the price of the Hurcan compared to other GT3s?

          • Luna

            February 24, 2017 at 9:51 am

            In Lamborghini they think as car dealers not motorsport managers. You are right. The budget option not the winning one.

          • KW

            February 24, 2017 at 2:14 pm

            You have to be aware that the GT3 competitors Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche all belong to ONE (Volkswagen) company. In this scheme, the 4 brands have different tasks in GT racing:
            Audi puts full works-support into 2 Blancpain teams (WRT, Phoenix) to go for overall wins in the 24h races Spa and Nuerburgring. In parallel, a huge numer of the GT3 Audi R8 is sold to private teams, which brings in the money for this support.
            Bentley fields only few works-supported cars in Blancpain, German and British GT to do some “positive image building”.
            Porsche puts full works-support into GT-LM, all the GT3 Porsche (except some one-off races like Bathurst) are also earning money for the Weissach motorsports factory, which builds a lot of GT3 and Cup racers every year.
            Last but not least Lamborghini hardly does any works-support (just a bit for GRT) and is just selling cars.
            All in all, for most manufacturers involved, GT3 is something to EARN money, not to SPEND. E.g., the SLS AMG was a very positive business case for AMG/Mercedes, and its successor AMG GT3 starts to be the same.

        • Andy Flinn

          February 24, 2017 at 4:22 pm

          Lamborghini is by far the healthiest manufacturer in GTD (8 cars at Daytona and seven at Sebring).

          They also don’t whine about paying the manufacturer fee.

  2. Luna

    February 24, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    So we are back to square 1. Lamborghini only sells cars, it is not surprising their teams are not the cream…. and have no results.
    Car dealing not motorsport managing.
    The limit.

    • Andy Flinn

      February 24, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      Luna, with all due respect, you sound like a disgruntled former employee.

      Do you have a history with Lamborghini?

      • Olly

        February 24, 2017 at 4:42 pm

        Andy, I can’t help but think of a little boy talking when you comment on these sites, sorry I can’t take you serious! 😂

      • Luna

        February 25, 2017 at 8:13 am

        No. Not really. A sportcars fan with a long career in professional golf business.

  3. Mike S.

    February 24, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    This is a bit standard. Once the endurance races are done the numbers always go down as a lot of teams just do NAEC races. Not a big deal. They have Lambo Trofeo which is a good series. It has taken off in the last several years. Lambo didn’t show well at D24 2 years in a row now. Not a Lambo fan but lets see how the season shakes out. They have some work to do.

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