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WeatherTech Championship

Watkins Glen Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday WeatherTech Championship notebook from Watkins Glen…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

***Daniel Morad has been a late addition to the No. 71 P1 Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 following visa issues for Mercedes-AMG factory driver Adam Christodoulou, who tested with the team last month and was set for his first start with the team.

***It marks the third IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship outing of the season for the JC Perez-owned P1 squad, which is committed to the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds this year.

***LMP2 cars topped the speed traps in Friday’s pair of opening practice sessions, with the No. 32 Untied Autosports Ligier JS P217 Gibson of Phil Hanson quickest at 185.042 mph. It compares to the quickest DPi, the No. 6 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 of Dane Cameron at 184.213 mph.

***The fastest non-Acura DPi, however, was considerably slower, with the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R clocked at 182.170 mph, with the Nissan Onroak DPi at 180 mph and quickest Mazda RT24-P clocked at 179 mph.

***Continental Tire issued a technical bulletin to teams outlining recommended tire pressures and other precautions in the wake of forecasted record temperatures on race day. As was the case last year, teams are urged to avoid the curbing at the Bus Stop Chicane.

***Several drivers, including Alvaro Parente, are set to fly to Belgium for Tuesday’s Total 24 Hours of Spa official test day prior to returning across the Atlantic to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park next weekend.

***Spirit of Daytona Racing team owner Troy Flis revealed that it ran the Detroit round primarily at the request of Cadillac. The Florida-based team is currently only confirmed for the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans, although Road America and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca are still possibilities but dependent on funding. 

***Flis said they are close to a deal to sell its Riley Mk. 30 LMP2 chassis that it ran last year, with one of its former Corvette DPs set to go on the market next week.

***GM Racing director Mark Kent told Sportscr365 that the Cadillac DPi program is confirmed “at least” through 2019, amid increased talk on the future direction of the DPi platform. The formula is currently confirmed through the end of the 2021 season, following a one-year extension made earlier this year.

***Dirk Mueller took delivery of his Ford GT earlier this month. Mueller’s second-year production car features the chassis number JO68, in reference to his 2016 Le Mans class win in the No. 68 Ford. Co-driver Joey Hand’s car, which he purchased last year, carries chassis number HO68. 

***IMSA Chairman Jim France and the France family were honored Thursday evening as the 2018 recipients of the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports from the International Motor Racing Research Center at Watkins Glen.

***While Romain Dumas stole the headlines at Pikes Peak for his record-setting time in the all-electric Volkswagen I.D. R prototype, several other sports car racing stars enjoyed success in the famed hill climb last weekend.

***Former Rolex 24 at Daytona winner David Donohue claimed class honors in an ex-CORE autosport Porsche 911 GT3 R run by Porsche of Colorado Springs, while Mike Skeen finished third in the newly created Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Pikes Peak Hill Climb Trophy by Yokohama class, which also featured CJ Wilson and Till Bechtolsheimer.

***A total of 38 Porsche Motorsport-built race cars are competing across three of the IMSA-sanctioned series this weekend. The German manufacturer’s most recent victory in the Six Hours of The Glen came in the rain-soaked 2015 edition with Team Falken Tire in GTLM.

***IMSA announced on Friday a new long-term partnership with Hookit, a leading sports sponsorship analytics and valuation platform, to become the Official Data And Analytics Supplier. 

***Continental has brought more than 4,000 tires to Watkins Glen this weekend, which has required 11 transporters to freight the tires from Indiana. Seventeen Continental employees are on-site to help process and service the tires and teams, including seven engineers and one product manager.

***Andy Blackmore’s official IMSA Spotter Guide has been updated to reflect the multiple new and revised patriotic liveries for Sunday’s race. Click Here to download the guide.

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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