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Road Atlanta Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday Notebook from Road Atlanta…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***While BMW is planning a return to the GTLM class next year, it has yet to confirm the renewal of its team or driver lineup. According to BMW NA Motorsport Manager Gordon McDonnell, a decision will be made in the next few weeks, with the 2015 program to be announced in early December.

***Qualifying didn’t go to plan for a trio of Prototype entries, with the class favorite OAK Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda of Alex Brundle stopping on track with a suspected clutch issue and a collision between the No. 07 Mazda and No. 9 Action Express Corvette DP. While it will be late nights for the affected teams, all three cars are expected to be ready to go for warmup tomorrow morning.

***Wayne Taylor Racing celebrates its 100th race as a team on Saturday, with brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor being rejoined by Max Angelelli in the No. 10 Corvette DP. Angelelli was joined by team owner Wayne Taylor, Jeff Gordon and Jan Magnussen in WTR’s first race, the 2007 Rolex 24 at Daytona aboard a Riley-Pontiac DP.

***The Taylor brothers are set to return to the Konica Minolta-sponsored entry next year, while Spirit of Daytona’s program is also to remain unchanged, with Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante planning to return to the VisitFlorida.com-backed Corvette DP, according to team owner Troy Flis.

***Sources suggest Risi Competizione is eyeing an expansion to GTD alongside its Ferrari F458 Italia GT entry in GTLM. The Houston-based squad has yet to confirm its 2015 program but a customer Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 is reportedly under consideration.

***Richard Lietz will make his driving return in next weekend’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Fuji. The Austrian suffered a broken arm in an accident at VIR six weeks ago, which ruled him out of the final three TUDOR Championship races of the season. Lietz will be at Road Atlanta tomorrow in support of the Porsche North America squad.

***While having announced a return with the Team Seattle-backed Porsche 911 GT America in 2015, team owner Alex Job said it’s his intention to also continue with the WeatherTech-backed entry, although they have yet to make a final commitment. “It makes sense to be racing two Porsches,” Job told Sportscar365.

***It’s still unclear on the number of Porsches that will be in GTD next year, particularly with the 911 GT America reaching the second and final year of its eligibility in 2015. The GTD grid, as a whole, could see a noticeable decrease, with some teams looking at a move to GTLM or to other championships.

***Championship leaders Turner Motorsport has yet to confirm a return with its BMW Z4 GT3, according to team owner Will Turner, who is working with car owner Paul Dalla Lana on potential programs for next year. The team, however, will return to the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge in 2015.

***TRG-AMR could have up to three Aston Martin Vantage GT3s at the Rolex 24 but may scale back to a Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup-only program, according to team owner Kevin Buckler, who has yet to sign a full-season driver for the TUDOR Championship.

***It’s a similar situation at Flying Lizard Motorsports, with team manager Eric Ingraham confirming talks of a potential switch to Pirelli World Challenge alongside Patron Endurance Cup rounds for its Audi R8 LMS cars. The team is also eyeing an expansion to the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series for 2015.

***No fewer than four current GTD teams, meanwhile, are considering possible partial or full-season campaigns in the FIA World Endurance Championship, which would either replace or compliment its existing TUDOR Championship programs.

***IMSA.com will stream the entire race tomorrow, with no geo-restriction, beginning at 11 a.m. ET. FOX Sports 2 coverage will begin at 3 p.m. ET, while flag-to-flag coverage will also be available on FOX Sports Go, along with live on-board camera feeds at http://www.foxsports.com/speed/stream/tudor​

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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