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WeatherTech Championship

Sebring Wednesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Wednesday notebook from Sebring International Raceway…

Photo: John Dagys

***IMSA has clarified the newly implemented minimum refueling times for this weekend, confirming that partial fills will still be permitted and measured based on the amount of fuel taken on during each stop. A half-fill for a GT Daytona car, for instance, should not be any faster than 20 seconds, which is half of the category’s minimum refueling time.

***The sanctioning body will enforce a minimum refueling time of full-tanks of 30 seconds (Prototype), 34 seconds (GT Le Mans) and 40 seconds (GT Daytona) this weekend.

***A total of 31 drivers, either Bronze or Silver-rated, will be required to complete laps in Thursday’s night practice in order to be eligible to drive in period of darkness in the race. Click Here to view the list.

***Sportscar365 has learned that an undisclosed Prototype team has been evaluating a switch to different LMP2 chassis later this year. Unlike DPi manufacturers, which are locked into the brand’s nominated chassis, teams are allowed one manufacturer or constructor change per season, in a new-for-2018 rule.

***A number of delegates from the FIA World Endurance Championship are expected here this weekend, on a fact-finding mission ahead of the planned combined event in 2019. In addition to CEO Gerard Neveu, staff from the WEC’s logistics, marketing and media departments will also be in attendance.

***Current and prospective DPi manufacturers are set to meet tomorrow, with the platform’s future among the expected key talking points. IMSA recently extended the current DPi homologation period through the end of the 2021 season.

***It’s understood manufacturer interest in the DPi formula remains at an all-time high, with Ford, Lexus and McLaren having all been in various stages of discussion in recent months, as well as other automakers keeping a close eye on developments.

***Flying Lizard Motorsports program manager and team manager Darren Law will join the FOX Sports broadcast team this weekend, serving as a pit lane reporter alongside Jamie Howe, Justin Bell and Andrew Marriott. Law had worked several races for SPEED Channel in the pit lane, while also being an analyst at the 2015 and 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans.

***Continental’s all-new P2700 Prototype tire, which debuts this weekend, features a more rounded shoulder for impact resistance and load integrity, while the G6500 tire for GTD cars utilizes a tougher shoulder with a more stable belt package to allow for an improved response from drivers.

***Both of the tires are new compounds and constructions and will be in use for the remainder of the WeatherTech Championship season.

***Continental has brought more than 6,600 tires to the track, for use in the WeatherTech Championship, Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda.

***Seventeen Continental employees will be on-site, including four additional technicians, to support its teams during the race, with a total of 13 transporters of tires having been transported from Indiana.

***Porsche is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its 1968 victory at Sebring, which saw Hans Hermann and Jo Siffert take a Porsche 907 to overall honors, in a 1-2 finish for the German manufacturer.

***A total of 43 Porsche Motorsport-built race cars across three series are taking part at Sebring this weekend: 35 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars in the combined IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA/Canada season-opener; four Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs in Continental Tire Challenge; a pair of CORE autosport-run Porsche 911 RSRs in GT Le Mans and the two customer Porsche 911 GT3 Rs from Wright Motorsports and Park Place Motorsports.

***JDC-Miller Motorsports driver Stephen Simpson is serving as a driver coach for Indy Lights team Belardi Auto Racing this season, beginning last weekend in St. Pete. Belardi’s Santiago Urrutia left the weekend leading the championship following a runner-up result and a win in the first two races of the season.

***Legendary sports car driver Bob Tullius was honored Tuesday evening at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Daytona Beach, as the Hall of Fame’s latest inductee.

***IMSA and Forza Motorsport will host the ForzaRC Invitational Presented by IMSA next weekend in Seattle, where many of the world’s top Forza Motorsport 7 drivers will take part in a four-hour broadcast event featuring a number of IMSA tracks. The event will be streamed live on a number of platforms, including Twitch.tv, Twitter and YouTube.

Ryan Myrehn contributed to this report

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 FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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