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Watkins Glen Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday notebook from Watkins Glen International…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Confirmation of the four selected LMP2 chassis constructors is expected to be made on July 10, once the FIA World Motor Sport Council approves the new-for-2017 technical regulations. Officials from the FIA, ACO and IMSA have been meeting with prospective manufacturers this week before making its final selections.

***A minimum of three cars are expected to take part in an IMSA-run test Monday at Watkins Glen, including the North American debut of a LMP3 car. A Ginetta-Nissan will be run for prospective customers, alongside a Riley Dodge Viper GT3-R and Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra, which will both be converted to full FIA GT3 specifications following the six-hour.

***Tom Kimber-Smith will be on hand to shakedown the Ginetta-Nissan LMP3 car, with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports providing equipment support for the test.

***IMSA has yet to make a decision on a potential future inclusion of the LMP3 platform in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. It has so far received mixed reactions from current Prototype Challenge team owners.

***Michael Shank told Sportscar365 that he’s targeting an expansion to a two-car Ligier JS P2 Honda effort in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds next year, potentially with Matt McMurry at the wheel. While not racing with the team this weekend, the 17-year-old has continued to take part in Shank’s testing program.

***McMurry has in fact landed a last-minute drive with BAR1 Motorsports this weekend, teaming with Martin Plowman and series debutante Daniel Burkett in the No. 16 Oreca FLM09.

***Starworks Motorsport team principal Peter Baron expecting a decision on who will team with Renger van der Zande and Mike Hedlund later today. Van der Zande’s regular co-driver, Mirco Schultis, is not here this weekend due to family commitments.

***It’s been a whirlwind 96 hours for PR1’s Andrew Palmer, who arrived Thursday at Watkins Glen directly from yesterday’s 24 Hours of Spa Test Day. Three days earlier, the Lamborghini Junior driver was at Paul Ricard, taking part in the third round of the Blancpain Endurance Series.

***The BMW M6 GT3 and BMW M235i Racing are making their North American public reveals this weekend, with both cars on display at the BMWUSA Classic display. The M6 GT3 was formally launched during last month’s Nurburgring 24 and will make its debut in the GT Daytona class beginning next year.

***The chances of seeing the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 make its North American competition debut at the Petit Le Mans now appears unlikely, according to Head of Lamborghini Motorsport Giorgio Sanna. The car is scheduled to begin an extensive U.S.-based tire testing program in September.

***Both Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-Rs will run in colors this weekend, Bill Riley confirmed to Sportscar365. They had been in TI Automotive colors for the opening two rounds of the Patron Endurance Cup season at Daytona and Sebring.

***The No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP is sporting a more colorful livery, thanks to the addition of Hazlitt’s Cider Tree as a sponsor for the event. Action Express and driver Joao Barbosa seek their third win at The Glen in the last four years.

***Veteran IMSA pit lane official Johnny Knotts is back in action this weekend and will be doing limited over the wall action. Knotts sustained multiple fractures to his leg and a broken foot after a PC car made contact with him at in the pit lane at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last month.

***Honda has withdrawn its HPD ARX-04b from this weekend’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The LMP2 car, which was to be driven by IndyCar and sports car ace Justin Wilson, had battled turbo-related issues.

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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