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VIR Saturday Notebook

John Dagys’ Saturday notebook from VIR…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

***Qualifying for Sunday’s Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway saw records broken in both GT Le Mans and GT Daytona, with Joey Hand’s overall pole-winning lap of 1:40.211 more than one-second quicker than the qualifying track record, held by Jan Magnussen from last year.

***The top five qualified in GT Daytona, meanwhile, were all under Madison Snow’s record time from last year. 

***Risi Competizione will switch to its newer, Le Mans-raced Ferrari 488 GTE chassis for the final two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races of the season. Technical director Rick Mayer told Sportscar365 the decision, made on Friday, was largely due to parts lifing, with many components on its current chassis due to be replaced after this weekend’s race.

***The Houston-based team is coming off a costly string of four consecutive races where it suffered race-ending crashes, the most recent being at Le Mans, after contact from a LMP2 car sent Pierre Kaffer hard into the barriers on the Mulsanne Straight.

***One of Scuderia Corsa’s Ferraris that it ran at Le Mans is being sold, with the 2016 WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona championship-winning chassis, which was upgraded to GTE specification for this year’s French endurance classic, set to go up for auction next month by RM Sotheby’s. Chassis No. 4208 holds historical significance as being the first Ferrari 488 GT3 to win in competition globally at the Twelve Hours of Sebring last year.

***HART, the Ohio-based team made up of Honda America workers, which has been assisting Michael Shank Racing this year, could run their own Acura NSX GT3 in the WeatherTech Championship next year, according to the MSR team owner. “That program is about the Honda engineers working and racing cars, their own product,” Shank told Sportscar365. “I think they needed to take a year and learn. But I think they want to try and do it on their own, which I respect and knew that going into it.”

***Ford has yet to decide on whether it will roll out with an evo kit for the Ford GT next year. It’s understood the manufacturer recently tested aero and mechanical updates on its spare WEC car in the UK. A decision will have to be made ahead of the FIA’s Balance of Performance test at Ladoux next month, which is required for any new or updated GTE/GT3 cars.

***Check out Andy Blackmore’s Spotter Guide for the event, featuring the entire GT-only field for Sunday’s race, including the last-minute driver change for the No. 33 Riley Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3, which sees Trent Hindman sub for Ben Keating. Click Here to download the guide.

***Watch the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET, live on FS1. The race will also be available on FOX Sports Go with FS1 authentication, along with live coverage on IMSA Radio and for international viewers.

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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