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Watkins Glen Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday notebook from Watkins Glen International…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

***Will Hardeman has sustained a concussion following his accident in Friday’s opening practice. The Moorespeed driver was cut out of his Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo and airlifted to SUNY Upsate Medical University in Syracuse, where he will remain for observation.

***The Audi has been withdrawn from the event, resulting in an expected 36-car grid for Sunday’s third round of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup.

***The No. 3 Corvette C7.R returned to action in the afternoon’s practice session following an engine change. Antonio Garcia posted the second quickest time in the GT Le Mans class.

***The Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring GT Daytona class-winning Grasser Racing Team, which had initially planned to contest the entire Endurance Cup, has elected to forgo Watkins Glen due to logistics and preparations for the Total 24 Hours of Spa, according to Lamborghini’s Chris Ward.

***Ward told Sportscar365 that the Austrian squad, which currently leads the Endurance Cup points in GTD, hopes to return for Petit Le Mans. 

***Road to Indy driver Dalton Kellett will make his WeatherTech Championship debut in next weekend’s race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson alongside Matt McMurry.

***Gabriel Aubry, who has been in the team’s LMP2 contender for the majority of the season, will return for the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans, according to team principal Bobby Oergel.

***Ana Beatriz is set for her first IMSA sprint race of the season at CTMP, as the Brazilian will fill in for Christina Nielsen, who will be on Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia duty at Fuji Speedway. Beatriz is the third driver in the all-female Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo this weekend.

***James French could return to Performance Tech Motorsports for next month’s round at Road America, according to team owner Brent O’Neill, who has confirmed Cameron Cassels and Kyle Masson for the balance of the season in the team’s LMP2 entry. French would replace Masson in the lineup for the Sheboygan, Wis. native’s home race.

***Jeroen Bleekemolen told Sportscar365 that he is on the lookout for a full-time WeatherTech Championship drive next year, in the wake of Ben Keating unlikely to return to the series full-time in 2020. The Dutchman has driven alongside Keating since the launch of the WeatherTech Championship in 2014.

***Multimatic’s Larry Holt has revealed to Sportscar365 that a post-deadline full-season Ford GT entry request for the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship season was rejected by the ACO. It’s understood at least two other teams posted entry requests past the May 21 deadline and were accepted, although they came before the official reveal of the entry list on June 14.

***Ford’s 24 Hours of Le Mans liveries will remain on the pair of Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs at least through Lime Rock Park, according to team principal Mike O’Gara, who told Sportscar365 that it’s undecided if they will revert to its pre-2018 bright blue, red and white color scheme or the colors it utilized last year and the start of this season.

***A review is underway on team pit lane equipment, which could evolve to new regulations or standards by the start of the 2021 season. “IMSA Officials are evaluating best practices across the motorsports industry and collaborating with our Entrants and Partners to determine the best course of action for any potential changes,” a statement issued to teams on Friday read.

***Among the areas under consideration include the costs associated with changes to style, dimensions, portability and potential standardization/simplification of pit awnings and structures, autonomous refueling tanks and related components such as timing stands and equipment carts.

***Rumors have surfaced of two potential additions to the LMP2 grid next year, not counting PR1/Mathiasen’s second Oreca, which Oergel said could run at Road America and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca later this season.

***The California-based team will expand into a two-car LMP3 operation in next weekend’s IMSA Prototype Challenge race at CTMP with Joel Janco and Jonatan Jorge, while Oergel said there’s a “99 percent” of a third Ligier JS P3 Nissan for Virginia International Raceway.

***Former P1 Motorsports team manager Gary Cummings has resurfaced this weekend with Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America paddock. Cummings has also taken on a role as SRO America’s liaison for the new single-make Saleen Cup.

***Cummings told Sportscar365 that 12 Saleen S1 Cup cars are expected for the series’ debut race at Portland International Raceway next month, after delays in the build of the race cars that saw the postponement of the series’ launch.

***Bobby Rahal was honored on Thursday evening as the sixth recipient of the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports from the International Motor Racing Research Center.

***Porsche’s Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor have launched their own apparel line with the #BamThor hashtag made famous on social media. T-shirts are available at Styled Aesthetics trackside this weekend and can also be ordered at

***NBC Sports has a reshuffled TV talent lineup this weekend with Kevin Lee in the booth alongside Calvin Fish and A.J. Allmendinger. Dillon Welch, Jon Beekhuis and Brian Till, meanwhile, will be on pit road.

***Till will also be assisting the IMSA Radio crew this weekend, with Jamie Howe expected for Sunday’s race alongside John Hindhaugh, Jeremy Shaw and Shea Adam.

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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