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Watkins Glen Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday notebook from Watkins Glen…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

***Following news of cooling-related developments for the Mazda RT24-P, Tequila Patron ESM’s Nissan Onroak DPi is set to also receive updates in the coming weeks, according to team owner/driver Scott Sharp. “A lot is brewing for after these couple of races,” he told Sportscar365. “We’ve got a cooling update coming, a diff update and hopefully some shock stuff coming.”

***All three DPi cars have yet to receive final homologation from IMSA, with the additional time having been beneficial to the ESM/Onroak camp in getting its Nissan closer to the level of the all-dominant Cadillac DPi-V.R. “They got such a head start,” Sharp said of Cadillac. “If they didn’t [allow updates] they would have an advantage that you’d never be able to surmount.”

***Cadillac DPi Program Coordinator Max Angelelli, however, has questioned how both manufacturers have been able to roll out with updates to its DPi machinery, while still under draft homologation. Angelelli said no developments have been made to the Cadillac since the start of the year. “We are a limbo,” he told Sportscar365. “It’s the same car since the Roar. We’re waiting for IMSA [for final homologation].”

***The No. 27 Dream Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, which makes its first start since Sebring, sees only a two-driver lineup in Cedric Sbirrazzuoli and Paolo Ruberti. Larry DeGeorge is not listed to drive this weekend.

***Filipe Albuquerque, who makes his series return since Sebring, is listed in both Action Express Racing Cadillacs, although is only expected to race the No. 5 car alongside Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi. The Portuguese driver served as reserve driver for both of the team’s Corvette DPs in last year’s race as well.

***Visit Florida Racing team owner Troy Flis said the repairs from their race-ending accident at Detroit were not as extensive as the Long Beach crash, which required a new Riley Mk. 30 tub. “It was more work but it wasn’t a bunch of all-nighters like the last one,” Flis told Sportscar365. The No. 90 car of Renger van der Zande and Marc Goossens battled clutch issues in the morning session.

***SunEnergy1 Racing team owner/driver Kenny Habul offered to pay for the damage sustained to Visit Florida’s LMP2 car from the accident, caused by brake failure from the Australian’s Mercedes-AMG GT3, but Flis suggested he instead make a donation to Homes For Our Troops, which indirectly helped fellow IMSA competitor retired Marine Staff Sgt. Liam Dwyer receive a new home.

***While not having been able to put together a program for his own team this weekend, Starworks Motorsport’s Peter Baron is working with SunEnergy1 as its chief strategist.

***BAR1 Motorsports team owner Brian Alder said he’s looking to step up to the Prototype class with a LMP2 car next year, with discussions ongoing this weekend between constructors, including ORECA. Alder hinted that the Oreca 07 Gibson would be a logical choice, although no decision has been made.

***Ed Brown, who underwent successful emergency back surgery on Wednesday afternoon, could make a visit to the track tomorrow, to support the ESM team.

***A number of executives and heavy hitters in the motorsports world are expected this weekend, including Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen, Lexus Vice President and General Manager Jeff Bracken, ORECA founder Hugues de Chaunac and technical director David Floury, as well as Onroak Automotive President Jacques Nicolet.

***Friday evening’s Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA and Canada race was abandoned after two laps following a serious multi-car accident that involved nearly a dozen cars. Four drivers: Etienne Borgeat, Trenton Estep, Jeff Mosing and Stephen Tullman were transported to area hospitals for further evaluation, with their conditions not yet reported.

***A continuation of Friday’s weather, which saw intermittent showers, is expected tomorrow, which could impact WeatherTech Championship qualifying and the two-hour Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race. Forecasts call for a 80 percent chance of rain on Saturday, and possible thunderstorms, although Sunday’s forecast currently looks clear.

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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