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VIR Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday notebook from Virginia International Raceway…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***IMSA teams took to the newly resurfaced Virginia International Raceway for the first time on Thursday, during the promoter test day for development series. The new pavement was laid down on the 3.27-mile circuit last month, and has seen considerable action since, including a 24-hour ChumpCar race and NASA mid-Atlantic event.

***Drivers have given the new pavement high marks. “It’s super smooth,” Bryan Sellers told Sportscar365. “They’ve done a great job with it, as what you’d expect from VIR. Whatever they put their minds to comes out first class.”

***Sunday’s Michelin GT Challenge at VIR is set for a 21-car entry, following the withdrawals of both the No. 22 WeatherTech-backed Alex Job Racing and No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Rs. The No. 540 Black Swan Racing Porsche is also a no-show, as expected.

***As was the case last year, the Prototype and Prototype Challenge cars are not in action, and will rejoin the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona categories for a full, four-class race at Circuit of The Americas next month.

***A number of GTLM and GTD cars have received changes to its refueling restrictors for this weekend. The changes include the BMW M6 GTLM (+1.0 mm), Ferrari 488 GTE, Ferrari 488 GT3, Ford GT and Dodge Viper GT3-R (-0.5 mm), Audi R8 LMS (+0.5 mm) and Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (-1.5 mm).

***Of note, the Lamborghini now has a 2.5 mm smaller refueling restrictor than the Audi, of which both cars feature the same drivetrain, electronics and fuel system. The Lamborghini is also 5 kg heavier than the Audi, per IMSA BoP.

***While having been parked since Detroit, the No. 11 Lamborghini could return to action for the next round at COTA, as well as Petit Le Mans with a new driver lineup. The car was run by Change Racing for Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell at Sebring and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca following the ceasing of operations of O’Gara Motorsport.

***A number of WeatherTech Championship teams tested this week at Road Atlanta, including Wayne Taylor Racing, Visit Florida Racing, Action Express Racing and Corvette Racing for a GM-hosted test on Monday and Tuesday; DeltaWing on Wednesday and Thursday, and Ford Chip Ganassi Racing last week.

***Ganassi, along with BMW Team RLL and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports are scheduled to test at COTA next week, with CORE autosport, Porsche North America and Magnus Racing at Road Atlanta.

***Earl Bamber got a taste of dirt racing last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as the 2015 Le Mans winner took part in the TORC Off-Road Championship race, finishing 8th in the PRO 4WD class. The field included other paved racing stars including Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Kenny Wallace.

***CORE autosport is split between events in two states for the first time this weekend, with a crew of ten, plus team owner/driver Jon Bennett and Prototype Challenge co-driver Colin Braun in Atlantic City, NJ. for the Red Bull Global Rallycross series.

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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