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Bahrain Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday notebook from Bahrain International Circuit…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***Both the No. 47 KCMG Oreca 05 Nissan and No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia have been penalized after both were found to have exceeded track limits in qualifying. The KCMG entry will now start third in LMP2 instead of second, with the GTE Pro title-contending Ferrari moved to rear of the field.

***Qualifying was delayed by 20 minutes due to a floodlight failure just moments into GTE qualifying. The session was fully restarted when the issue, caused by a local outage at Bahrain International Circuit, was rectified. It took several minutes for the lights to reset.

***The No. 99 Aston Martin Vantage V8 of Richie Stanaway, Fernando Rees and Alex MacDowall will face a significant setback in the race, as the GTE-Pro entry will be forced to serve a three-minute stop-and-hold penalty due to using five sets of tires in Free Practice.

***David Markozov has been given a 5,000 Euro fine for completing two additional laps after taking the checkered flag in Free Practice 2. The Russian driver makes his second WEC start of the season in the SMP Racing-run BR01 Nissan.

***Morand Racing is close to finalizing the driver lineup for its Ligier JS P2 Nissan next year. The Swiss squad is expected to make an announcement within the next two weeks. The team’s current Morgan-Judd could still compete in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races, beginning with January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

***Despite the season not yet coming to a close, silly season has already hit the WEC paddock, with no fewer than three current Silver-rated LMP2 drivers exploring new options for next year, both in P2 and in GTE-Am.

***The P2 class is set to see growth in 2016, with the arrival of two AF Racing BR01s, Jota Sport Oreca 05 Nissan, as well as a likely effort from Greaves Motorsport. G-Drive Racing is unlikely to return with OAK, which will now operate the Tequila Patron ESM team, with the Russian oil company exploring other options with its driver, Roman Rusinov.

***Paul Dalla Lana, who scored his fifth GTE-Am pole of the year on Friday, told Sportscar365 he’s still yet to finalize his return to the WEC but hopes to do so by the end of this weekend.

***Ferrari’s 458 Italia takes part in its final race in factory backed GT competition tomorrow. The GTE-spec car has claimed a total of 101 victories worldwide to date, with Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander’s GTE-Pro class victory at Fuji last month having been the milestone 100th.

***GTE Pro pole-sitter Gimmi Bruni is sporting a special helmet this weekend, featuring a colorful design to support Sofia, who has Rett Syndrome. The helmet will be auctioned off following the race at, with all proceeds going to the “One Day Sofia” association for research for the rare postnatal neurological disorder. Fellow FIA WEC driver Ryan Dalziel is also an advocate for Rett Syndrome.

***Several teams are running decals to remember the events that took place in France last week. Larbre Competition mechanics have #PrayforParis stickers on their helmets, while the French flag is adorned on the noses of the Audi R18 e-tron quattros.

***Additionally, a number of teams are also carrying stickers with the #ForTim, in memory of Dunlop tire engineer Tim Gibson, who passed away last week at the age of 30.

***Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb have been ruled out of competing in next year’s Nürburgring 24. All three Porsche LMP1 factory drivers expressed interest in joining the German manufacturer’s effort with the new 911 GT3-R but will not be allowed due to the race’s proximity to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Laurent Mercier contributed to this report

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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