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Sebring Wednesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Wednesday notebook from IMSA Sebring test…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***A total of 36 cars are set for this week’s IMSA-sanctioned test at Sebring, following the additions of both the No. 18 DAC Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and the No. 88 Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09.

***Emmanuel Anassis, Brandon Gdovic, Zach Claman and Anthony Massari are listed to drive the DAC Lamborghini, with only Scott Mayer so far confirmed in the Starworks entry, but additional drivers expected to test.

***Starworks team principal Peter Baron told Sportscar365 they will focus on only a single Prototype Challenge entry for the remainder of the season, including at the Sebring race. The team’s lineup for Sebring and the six remaining PC rounds after has yet to be confirmed.

***This week’s test will mark the first time most of the DPi cars will be in high-downforce aero configuration. Outside of a weather-curtailed test at Road Atlanta, the Mazda RT24-P has only run at Daytona, while Jordan Taylor told Sportscar365 that their Cadillac DPi-V.R has primarily run in in Daytona trim in pre-season testing as well.

***All DPis have faced power cuts and adjusted downforce levels for this test, with the LMP2 cars, which serves as the performance baseline in the Prototype class, remaining unchanged from Daytona.

***Each of the five GT Le Mans class cars and their production counterparts took part in a Michelin-organized photo shoot this afternoon. It included a road-going Ford GT (pictured above, with the Ford GT race car), which was driven in the shoot by Billy Johnson. Johnson, who is confirmed for the first three FIA World Endurance Championship races with the UK-based Ford squad, will not be turning laps in the GTLM class cars this week.

***Marino Franchitti, who returns to the wheel of a prototype for the first time since his overall win at Sebring in 2014 with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, told Sportscar365 that his ride with Mazda is currently for Sebring only. He joins the team’s No. 70 lineup alongside full-season drivers Joel Miller and Tom Long.

***While taking part in this week’s test, Olivier Pla is not scheduled to drive the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibson in the race, according to team principal Bobby Oergel. Tom Kimber-Smith, Jose Gutierrez and Mike Guasch are listed to drive at the test and the race.

***Pla, who took part in last month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona in the four-car Ford program, is also one of Onroak Automotive’s development drivers, having recently completed tests with IDEC Sport’s Ligier in Europe. “There’s been a lot of little things we learn every time we go on track,” he told Sportscar365. “We need time, we need to put in the mileage. So far, I think it’s been going well.”

***The No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 has been repaired since Scott Pruett’s accident at Daytona and is here as the solo entry from the 3GT Racing team. Team manager Robin Hill told Sportscar365 they elected to concentrate on testing only one car for scheduling and logistics reasons.

***After months of development and thousands of test miles, Continental’s new Prototype tire will make its public debut tomorrow. A handful of teams, including PR1/Mathiasen and Rebellion Racing, have already tested the new construction at Sebring. The PC and GTD tires remain unchanged compared to last year’s race.

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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