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VIR Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday TUDOR Championship notebook from VIR…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***The Prototype Challenge field has been reduced to 9 cars following the withdrawal of the BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09 for the second consecutive race. Team owner Brian Alder, who could clinch the IMSA Prototype Lites L2 title this weekend, said their PC car will return for the next round at Circuit of The Americas.

***Billy Johnson has landed a last-minute ride with Muehlner Motorsport, sharing the No. 18 Porsche 911 GT America with Mark Kvamme. Muehlner’s No. 19 Porsche, as well as the No. 71 Park Place Porsche, are not expected to race, reducing the GTLM/GTD entry to an expected 27-car grid.

***A decision on the next step for Starworks Motorsport’s Honda-powered Riley DP will be made in the next week, according to team owner Peter Baron. While having made its return at Road America, Baron was disappointed with the pace of the updated package. Further testing could be planned before a return to the series.

***Baron said they are now unlikely to field a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in GT Daytona next year, largely due to costs. Starworks’ future in PC has yet to be finalized, although Baron is targeting a two-car DP program in 2014, with Martin Fuentes looking to step up to the top Prototype ranks.

***The No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford will feature photos of MSR fans on the nose and sides of the car at the season-ending Petit Le Mans. Fans can submit photos to: shankfanshots@gmail.com, with a gallery to be established at www.shankfanshots.com. “I am so appreciative of all our fans sticking with us through a tough year that I wanted to thank them in the best way I could think of, everyone rides along with us for Petit!” said Mike Shank.

***While the final two TUDOR Championship races will be televised in a condensed, next-day broadcast on FOX, IMSA VP of Marketing David Pettit confirmed to Sportscar365 that confidence is high that both races will be live streamed in their entirety on IMSA.com, without any geo-restrictions.

***Pettit also confirmed that all of the 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge races will also be streamed live on IMSA.com, with tape delay coverage on FOX Sports 1. The Lime Rock Park and Kansas Speedway rounds did not feature any television coverage this year, but all CTSC races will run with the TUDOR Championship next year.

***The Maserati Trofeo cup makes its annual U.S. stop this weekend at VIR as part of its six-round global championship. The one-make series has three races on tap, two 30-minute sprints and a 60-minute feature on Sunday. Former FIA GT champion Michael Bartels, Scuderia Corsa’s Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal, as well as Nick Mancuso are among notable drivers taking part. The championship concludes in December at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi as part of the Gulf 12 Hours weekend.

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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