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VIR Pre-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ pre-race notebook for Oak Tree Grand Prix…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

***Earl Bamber topped the time charts in morning warmup, leading a Porsche 1-2 in the session. Bamber’s 1:43.439 lap time outpaced teammate Patrick Pilet by 0.072 seconds, with Tommy Milner third in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R. GT Daytona was led by the pole-sitting No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS of Christopher Haase.

***There were a few minor off-course excursions in the 20-minute session, including minor impacts with the barriers by Oliver Gavin and Mario Farnbacher.

***The Corvette C7.Rs will have a 0.25 mm smaller refueling restrictor in the race today, per IMSA rules, although following a decision made by the sanctioning body this morning, is eligible to utilize its previous-sized 38 mm restrictor.

***An IMSA spokesperson told Sportscar365 that no Balance of Performance adjustments have been made to the car this weekend. It’s understood the Pratt & Miller squad had utilized a 38 mm refueling restrictor, as supplied by IMSA, all season.

***The 0.25 reduction in refueling restrictor size is understood to be negligible, with one rival GTLM team engineer telling Sportscar365 that it will not result in any notable time difference in refueling times.

***BoP in GTLM has been a hot topic this weekend, with a large disparity in performance again evident between manufacturers. IMSA has reached its limit of four BoP changes over the course of the season (post-Daytona). The sanctioning body rewrote the rule last August to allow for one additional change.

***IMSA’s BoP table for GTLM differs significantly from the ACO’s BoP used in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. The Porsche 911 RSR, for example runs a 1.3 mm larger air restrictor, 10 kg less weight and a heavily revised splitter and rear wing than their GTE-Pro counterparts in WEC.

***Michelin has debuted its new tech transporter this weekend. The 53-foot custom unit features workstations for up to 20 people, with full connectivity to the internet, timing and scoring and track feeds. It coincides with Michelin’s increased at-track presence, with two tire technicians embedded on some GT Le Mans class teams.

***VIR is expected to mark the final race for the trial program of Michelin’s “single stinter” tire, which has helped contribute to new qualifying lap records in GTLM. The medium compound rubber has been designed exclusively for TUDOR Championship’s pit stop rules, which doesn’t give a time advantage for double-stinting tires.

***Alex Job Racing will have an increased presence in next month’s Porsche Rennsport Reunion V, with a total of ten cars either on display or racing over the weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It will feature two Porsche RS Spyders, including an ex-Penske car recently acquired by David MacNeil.

***Be sure to check out Andy Blackmore’s official Spotter Guide for today’s Oak Tree Grand Prix, featuring all 18 starters for today’s two-hour and 40-minute race.

***Catch live coverage of the race on FOX Sports 1, beginning at 1 p.m. ET. The Race will also air live on IMSA Radio and via the IMSA app.

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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