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Watkins Glen Thursday Notebook

Sportscar365’s notebook prior to on-track action for WeatherTech 240 at The Glen…

Photo: Jamey Price/Lamborghini

***A total of 30 entries are set for the WeatherTech 240 at The Glen, as the replacement round for the canceled event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Thirty-one cars were initially on the entry list prior to Wright Motorsports’ decision to opt out of the round, which only pays WeatherTech Sprint Cup points in GT Daytona.

***Grasser Racing Team has built up a new Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo (pictured above) following Misha Goikhberg’s race-ending accident in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. It is the third different chassis to be used this year as the No. 19 car following an accident in testing at Mid-Ohio that ruled out the car that started the WeatherTech Championship season.

***The No. 19 GRT entry, to be driven by Goikhberg and Lamborghini factory driver Franck Perera, is sporting a slightly different livery than the previous chassis, which did not feature triangle accent marks.

***Performance Tech Motorsports sourced a brand-new engine for its Ligier JS P320 Nissan that arrived from France on Monday, accounting for a 12-hour round-trip drive from Watkins Glen to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and back.

***While having a spare Porsche 911 RSR-19 on the truck, WeatherTech Racing’s Matt Campbell said the team elected to repair its damaged primary car from the the six-hour due to the amount of time between events. “Thankfully we had a few days to get it sorted so the guys didn’t have to rush it,” he said.

***Campbell is slated to return to the Proton Competition-run team for Road America, with Mathieu Jaminet set to be Cooper MacNeil’s co-driver in the upcoming Lime Rock Park round as the two Porsche factory drivers juggle their FIA World Endurance Championship (Campbell) and ADAC GT Masters (Jaminet) commitments alongside splitting driving duties of the No. 79 Porsche.

***Only a single Balance of Performance adjustment was made since last weekend’s race, with IMSA giving the Cadillac DPi-V.Rs a 1-liter increase in fuel capacity.

***While the majority of the manufacturer representatives were on-site last weekend at The Glen, Sportscar365 understands that Audi’s Allan McNish is on the ground at Watkins Glen for discussions with prospective LMDh teams prior to heading to New York City for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship double-header next weekend.

***A decision on Audi’s factory LMDh team for the WeatherTech Championship is not believed to have been made yet although Andretti Autosport has been in the rumor-mill as one of several in contention. Team WRT has been tipped to be the German brand’s factory outfit in the WEC, meanwhile.

***Ricky Taylor said it would have been “wild” if IMSA had utilized the short-course layout at Watkins Glen International for Friday’s race, which had previously been run during the Grand-Am events with NASCAR in the past. Taylor won on the eight-turn, 2.454-mile course in 2011 with Max Angelelli in a Wayne Taylor Racing Dallara-Chevrolet DP.

“Turn 6 is always a little bit of a rest for your neck because you actually get to go left,” he said. “If we went right, my neck would have been destroyed. That was always a really fun configuration. With the amount of cars we have now and the speed differential, it would have been wild.”

***Unlike last weekend, rain and thunderstorms are in the forecast for both Thursday and Friday, which could create challenges for competitors.

***Ricky and Jordan Taylor along with several others in the WeatherTech Championship paddock spent the downtime between races cycling around Seneca Lake and also re-created a lap of the old Watkins Glen circuit. Filipe Albuquerque joined Taylor and the WTR team for some surfing on a nearby lake as well on Wednesday.

***Acura NSX GT3 program manager Lee Niffenegger told Sportscar365 that there’s significant interest from several European teams wanting to compete in next year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona with the NSX GT3 Evo, including one “super serious” effort.

***Former Rolex 24 at Daytona winner Johannes van Overbeek has been making recent appearances in the IMSA paddock serving as a drivers’ steward in race control. Van Overbeek, who retired from professional racing in 2018, has also been a test driver for Tesla in the development of its 1,100-horsepower Model S Plaid.

***NBCSN’s live coverage of the WeatherTech 240 gets underway Friday at 6 p.m. ET with Brian Till and Calvin Fish in the booth and Dillon Welch reporting from pit lane. IMSA Radio will again have full flag-to-flag coverage as well led by 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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