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Watkins Glen Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday notebook from Watkins Glen International…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Rusty Mitchell and Ryan Lewis have been late additions at RSR Racing, with Mitchell rejoining Alex Tagliani and Chris Cumming in the No. 08 Oreca FLM09 after outings at Daytona and Sebring. Fellow Silver-rated Lewis, meanwhile, will be making his team debut in the No. 09 entry with Bruno Junqueira and Duncan Ende.

***Spencer Pumpelly is set to pull double-duty in both Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS cars this weekend, having also been entered in the No. 35 car with Dion von Moltke and Seth Neiman. Brett Sandberg, meanwhile, joins Pumpelly and Nelson Canache in the No. 45 Audi, which is seeking its elusive first class win of the season.

***James Gue returns to the wheel of the PC championship-leading CORE autosport entry alongside Colin Braun and Jon Bennett. Gue was part of the team’s winning lineup at both Daytona and Sebring. Braun drove the No. 54 entry to victory in the PC-only round at Kansas earlier this month.

***Dutch sports car ace Jaap van Lagen will make his TUDOR Championship debut this weekend in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America with Patrick Lindsey and Dr. Jim Norman. The Texas-based team will again field only a single-car entry for the second consecutive race.

***IMSA will issue waivers to drivers this weekend who are unable to source a new carbon fiber visor strip, which has become mandatory for all drivers in open-cockpit cars. The F1-style visor panel has been implemented in the wake of James Hinchcliffe’s accident in the IndyCar road course race at Indianapolis, where his helmet and visor were hit by debris.

***No fewer than a dozen drivers here at The Glen are fresh off last weekend’s Nürburgring 24, including Christopher Haase, who claimed overall victory in the Phoenix Audi R8 LMS ultra. Others include Wolf Henzler, Dirk Mueller, Philipp Frommenwiler, Sebastian Asch, Charles Espenlaub and Charlie Putnam.

***Four TUDOR Championship drivers: Richard Westbrook, Pierre Kaffer, Markus Paltalla and Jeroen Bleekemolen, meanwhile, took part in the Nürburgring 24 as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Bleekemolen, amazingly, racked up nearly 24 hours of drive time himself over the last two weeks, driving the 14-hour maximum at Le Mans and nearly 10 hours at the ‘Ring.

***While not competing at the Nürburgring, Risi Competizione’s Giancarlo Fisichella is on the heels of the GTE-Pro class victory at Le Mans. The former F1 star teamed with Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander in an AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia for their second class win in three years.

***Michael Avenatti is back behind the wheel of the No. 81 GB Autosport Porsche 911 GT America for the first time since the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The California-based attorney, who also serves as team principal, was forced to skip the last two rounds due to business commitments. Porsche Supercup ace Ben Barker, who filled in for Avenatti at Detroit, makes his second consecutive start, serving as the third driver.

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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