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COTA WEC Wednesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Wednesday WEC notebook from Circuit of The Americas…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***All 31 cars have arrived in Texas for this weekend’s Six Hours of Circuit of The Americas, the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season. The race is expected to be the hottest of the year, with ambient temperatures in excess of 95 degrees Fahrenheit forecast for Saturday afternoon.

***The performance break given to LMP1 non-hybrids at Le Mans and the Nürburgring has been extended to COTA. Rebellion Racing team manager Bart Hayden told Sportscar365 he doesn’t expect the situation to be any different this weekend. The Anglo-Swiss entries were more than four seconds off the pace of the factory hybrids in Germany.

***Hayden said Rebellion’s 2016 program has not yet been confirmed, with the team hoping of additional LMP1 non-hybrids to join the grid next year, although most of the recent interest appears to point towards 2017.

***It’s unclear if the 2016 schedule will be released this weekend as originally planned. It’s understood a final piece of the calendar is still being finalized, with a time and day for the announcement not yet having been scheduled.

***Next year’s Prologue could move to Monza, with the famed Italian circuit reportedly in talks to host the official pre-season test in late March. The 2016 European Le Mans Series schedule, which was released earlier this month, listed its pre-season test as TBA.

***Tequila Patron ESM has made further crew changes this weekend, with the arrival of OAK Racing’s Matthieu Leroy as engineer of the No. 30 Ligier JS P2 Honda. Leroy replaces veteran engineer Steve Challis, who had been with the team since late 2013.

***Stefan Muecke misses his first-ever WEC race this weekend, as the German has been drafted into Oman Racing Team’s lineup in the Blancpain Endurance Series season-ending round at the Nürburgring. Jonny Adam teams with Darren Turner in the No. 97 Aston Martin in GTE-Pro.

***Prior to arriving in Texas, G-Drive Racing drivers Gustavo Yacaman and Roman Rusinov took part in the Miami Triathlon. IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan also participated.

***It appears LMP2 teams will be exempt from their season-long engine restrictions at next year’s Prologue. Teams completed limited running at this year’s test as they were mandated to run with one of their three permitted season-long powerplants.

***The identity of the fifth and final LMP3 constructor should be known in the coming weeks. It’s understood that Wolf, Norma and an Asian-based manufacturer with links to KCMG are all reportedly in the running to join the previously confirmed Onroak Automotive, ADESS, Ginetta and Riley-Ave.

Laurent Mercier contributed to this report

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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