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Le Mans Wednesday Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s notebook from Wednesday at Le Mans…

Photo: Tony DiZinno

Photo: Tony DiZinno

***SpeedSource Mazda TUDOR United SportsCar Championship driver Tristan Vautier is in attendance this weekend for the first time since 2010, although not for any official reasons. His godfather runs the Team Sofrev ASP Ferrari F458 Italia in GTE-Am, which features the lineup of Soheil Ayari, Fabien Barthez and Anthony Pons in the No. 58 Ferrari F458 Italia. Vautier also confirmed SpeedSource’s Sylvain Tremblay and Mazda’s John Doonan will make the trip to Le Mans this week for meetings.

***Additionally, Nelson Canache of Flying Lizard Motorsports is here this week to support FLM’s quartet of Spencer Pumpelly, Seth Neiman, Thomas Blam and Eric Ingraham on the JMW Motorsport Ferrari F458 Italia in GTE-Am. The Venezuelan is getting a lay of the land this year, and is hopeful to race here in 2015.

***Two teams, Corvette Racing and Krohn Racing, not only have this week’s 24 Hours of Le Mans to get through but also have to prep their logistics upon returning to the U.S. for the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen. They’re the only two teams shipping their same cars and equipment to the next TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race; Dempsey Racing and OAK Racing’s U.S. programs, separate from the ones they are involved with at Le Mans, will resume there.

***Both the No. 75 Prospeed Competition Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and No. 67 Imsa Performance Matmut Porsche 911 GT3 RSR have new “art car” liveries that were revealed with the green flag to Wednesday’s four-hour Free Practice. The Prospeed car features a multicolored livery, pictured above, while Imsa’s is just a black and white mix.

***The sister Prospeed entry, the No. 79 WeatherTech-backed entry, marks its first run in Wednesday’s first practice after missing the Le Mans Test Day. The 2012-spec Porsche 911 GT3 RSR had its new fuel cell put in just before practice. For lead driver Jeroen Bleekemolen, it’s been years since he’s been an actual previous-generation 911 GT3 RSR, among the wide range of machinery he’s driven. Despite the presence of Bleekemolen and Cooper MacNeil, there are no Alex Job Racing crewmembers assisting with the effort.

***The Nissan ZEOD RC completed a rolling road dyno run Wednesday morning at the team’s outdoor workshop, and also changed batteries ahead of its first run of the day. Unfortunately barely after the practice start, Wolfgang Reip stopped the No. 0 on track due to a drive issue at the second chicane on the Mulsanne Straight.

***Of the 42 drivers scheduled to make their first start in this year’s Le Mans, there are 13 teams fielding a lineup with two Le Mans debutantes, and the No. 41 Greaves Motorsport Zytek ZS11 Nissan the only car to field three Le Mans rookies in the seat.

***Somewhat strangely, this year’s Le Mans is set to run without a Scottish driver due to the retirement of Audi legend Allan McNish and current Scottish stars Ryan Dalziel and Marino Franchitti not in the field. Ideally this is a one-off stat that gets corrected for 2015.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony

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