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Sebring Wednesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Wednesday notebook from Sebring…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***3GT Racing arrived at Sebring with both of its Lexus RC F GT3 cars, despite initial concerns that Ryan Hunter-Reay’s latest lawsuit filed against team owner Paul Gentilozzi could have effected Gentilozzi’s program. Multiple paddock sources have indicated to that the court case was settled earlier this week, with Sportscar365 awaiting comment from Hunter-Reay’s attorney.

***The lawsuit stemmed from a breach of contract during the 2005 Champ Car season, for which Hunter-Reay was awarded $3.3 million in a federal suit last month. While on-site at Sebring, Paul Gentilozzi declined comment when asked about the court case.

***Colin Thompson has been added to the No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09 this weekend, alongside Marc Drumwright, Chapman Ducote and Gustavo Yacaman, with full-season drivers Don Yount and Buddy Rice joined by Danny Burkett in the team’s No. 20 car.

***Starworks Motorsport has yet to confirm the lineup for its solo No. 8 entry. James Dayson is the only driver currently listed on the entry list, with Alex Popow’s name present on the car in the paddock this afternoon.

***Michael de Quesada has replaced his father and team owner, Carlos, in the Rolex 24 at Daytona class-winning No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R this weekend, alongside Daniel Morad, Michael Christensen and Spencer Pumpelly, who shifts from the team’s pit box at Daytona to the driver’s seat for this race.

***A total of 46 cars are set for the race, which doubles as the second round of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.

***Various cars have underwent Balance of Performance changes since Daytona, but none more than the Cadillac DPi-V.R., which has received a total 2.1 mm reduction in air restrictor, 20 kg weight increase and fuel capacity and refueling restrictor reductions, in two waves. Cadillac DPi Program Coordinator Max Angelelli told Sportscar365 that the air restrictor adjustment alone equates to approximately a 70 horsepower decrease.

***The third Ford GT from Chip Ganassi Racing is being crewed by the same WEC mechanics that work on the No. 66 entry in the globe-trotting championship. WEC team principal George Howard-Chappell is also on hand, with the car having been set up underneath Multimatic Motorsports’ transporter, which had typically been used for its Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge program.

***Continental Tire is set to give its new Prototype tire its competition debut this weekend, after months of testing and development. It marks the first tire designed specifically for LMP2-based cars, which has already received positive marks from drivers.

***The exclusive tire provider for the P, Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona class has also made available an updated, more robust GTD wet tire, following issues selected teams faced at Daytona. Continental’s Travis Roffler told Sportscar365 that as a good-will gesture, they will take back and replace all unused GTD wet tires in teams’ inventory free of charge, while offering a credit for two sets of tires at Sebring for each GTD team that competed at Daytona.

***Continental is also supplying the new-look Prototype Challenge powered by Mazda Series, which kicks off this weekend with LMP3 machinery making its highly anticipated North American race debut.

***Colin Thompson topped the time charts in Wednesday’s opening practice, laying down a quick lap of 1:57.670 in the brand-new Norma M30, entered by Kelly-Moss Road and Race. Mazda Road to Indy star Nico Jamin, a late addition to the event, was second, in an ANSA Motorsports Ligier JS P3. Click Here for the results.

***Thompson and Performance Tech’s Kyle Masson are the only two drivers set to pull double-duty between the PC series and Saturday’s 12-hour race. Of note, Kelly-Moss has a Ligier JS P3 in its tent that’s for sale.

***Marc Goossens turned laps in Ave Motorsports’ Ave-Riley AR-2 in this morning’s test session, to help provide a baseline for the car. The AR-2, along with the Norma, is making its competition debut this weekend. Veteran engineer Mark Scott is working with the Ave program, which will be raced by by Trans-Am veteran Paul Fix.

***Open-wheel rising star RC Enerson, meanwhile, also got behind the wheel of a LMP3 car in the test, with Enerson in one of JDC Motorsports’ Ligiers. The 20-year-old Floridian made his sports car racing debut at Daytona, in PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ Ligier JS P217 Gibson and is set for a partial European Le Mans Series season with Joel Janco in one of Duqueine Engineering’s Ligiers.

***Dane Cameron got seat time in a LMP3 car last week, during a two-day test at Sebring, where the reigning WeatherTech Championship Prototype champion assisted Onroak Automotive North America with a “house” Ligier that will not race. Ten of the thirteen LMP3 cars taking part this weekend are Ligiers.

***Rolex 24 at Daytona class winners Performance Tech Motorsports has a massive seven-car program at Sebring, with four Elan DP02s in the newly renamed MPC class of Prototype Challenge, a Ligier and Ginetta LMP3 each in the P3 class, as well as its WeatherTech Championship-entered Oreca FLM09 for Masson, James French and Pato O’Ward, who is coming off an impressive Indy Lights debut last weekend in St. Pete.

***Ricky and Jordan Taylor, plus new co-driver Alex Lynn made a visit to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando on Wednesday, as part of an event for the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, a proud charity of IMSA.

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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