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Watkins Glen Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday notebook from Watkins Glen International…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***This weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen also marks the third round of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup. The four class championship leaders assembled at the start/finish line today for a photo shoot. At Watkins Glen, Patron Endurance Cup points will be awarded at the three-hour mark and finish.

***Prototype and Prototype Challenge teams are utilizing Continental “Gold” tires this weekend, the same construction used at Daytona and Indianapolis. The decision to switch from the traditional “Blacks” came following a test here in April with Action Express Racing. The upgraded DPs, along with the P2 cars, have created higher cornering speeds than seen at the 3.4-mile circuit in past years.

***SpeedSource and Mazda have rolled out additional updates to its SKYACTIV-D prototype this weekend, primarily to improve cooling to the clean diesel-powered engine. It includes a change from a single pass to a dual pass radiator, new radiator extraction louvers on the sidepods, new cooling fan on the intercooler, as well as engine mapping updates.

***Most of the developments have been rolled out on the No. 70 Mazda of Sylvain Tremblay, Tom Long and Ben Devlin this weekend, with the No. 07 entry of Tristan Nunez, Joel Miller and Tristan Vautier running in a similar configuration that debuted at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May.

***Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of SRT Motorsports and Senior Vice President of Product Design for Chrysler Group LLC., is making the trip from Detroit to Watkins Glen in a 2015 pre-production Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. The latest high-performance car from Dodge, which celebrates its 100th anniversary, features a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 that produces 600-plus horsepower.

***Christina Nielsen will be pulling double-duty between the TUDOR Championship and IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup this weekend with NGT Motorsport. The Dane, who makes her third start of the season in the MOMO-sponsored No. 30 Porsche 911 GT America, fills in for Henique Cisneros, who has prior commitments. Neither Nielsen or co-driver Kuba Giermaziak have been to Watkins Glen before.

***While the DeltaWing Coupe returns to action this weekend, it also marks the first race with Tim Keene in command of the Braselton, Ga.-based organization. Keene helped take Chip Ganassi Racing to four wins in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Gabby Chaves teams with Katherine Legge this weekend, as regular driver Andy Meyrick is on Blancpain Endurance Series duty with Bentley at Paul Ricard.

***Jordan Taylor’s mullet will be cut off following Saturday’s driver meeting, at approximately 6 p.m. ET, in the lobby of the Watkins Glen media center building. Taylor has continued to raise money for Camp Boggy Creek in Florida and Camp Anokijig in Wisconsin. Click Here for further information on his fundraising efforts.

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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