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COTA WEC Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday WEC notebook from COTA…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***Lars Viljoen has been a late addition to the No. 50 Larbre Competition Corvette C7.R this weekend, replacing fellow Bronze-rated driver Yutaka Yamagishi in the lineup alongside Ricky Taylor and Pierre Ragues. Vilojoen makes his FIA World Endurance Championship debut, in a deal that was only struck Wednesday night.

***It’s understood Yamagishi’s seat is under threat for the rest of the season, except for the next round at Fuji, where the Japanese driver will return to the wheel for his home race.

***Track limits has been a major talking point this weekend already, with competitors having been summoned to an additional drivers’ briefing this evening on the matter. There were a total of 97 reports of track abuse in a single corner during FP1. To complicate matters, IMSA is again utilizing a relaxed approach to track limits this weekend for its races.

***Both Anthony Davidson and Benoit Treluyer have been declared fit and will race on Saturday. Davidson sat out Mexico City due to bruised ribs from a testing accident, while Treluyer was forced out of the last two races due a back injury from a mountain biking accident in July.

***Davidson admitted he still isn’t 100 percent but does not expect any issues in the race. “Rib pain is one of those things that takes a long time to heal,” he said. “If I’m honest, I can still just about feel it. It’s not perfect but it’s drivable. In Mexico, it was just a bit too painful to drive.”

***The No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE has underwent an engine change after Darren Turner’s off in FP1. “We had just done a brake change,” he told Sportscar365. “The brakes weren’t pumped up, it was just a communication problem. Thankfully there was no traffic going through turn 1.”

***The No. 4 ByKolles CLM P1/01 AER is running with only a two-driver lineup of Simon Trummer and Oliver Webb this weekend. A substitute driver to Pierre Kaffer, who is on Blancpain GT Series duty this weekend at the Nürburgring, was initially considered.

***Michelin is hosting jury members for its Michelin Challenge Design: Le Mans 2030 this weekend, to decide the finalists, which will be announced next month. 1600 applicants from 80 countries were received for the design competition, aimed to imagine a future-generation Le Mans-style prototype. The jury includes designers from Ford, GM, Honda, Nissan, BMW Group Design and PSA Peugeot Citroen.

***Ryan Dalziel, one of four drivers pulling double-duty between the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and WEC races, is raffling off both of his race suits to raise funds for the Rett Syndrome Research Trust. The online raffle also includes other items donated, including a set of Continental Tire passenger tires and Deltran Battery Tender products.

***Tom Kristensen has been named the Grand Marshal for Saturday’s race. The nine-time Le Mans winner will wave the flag to start the formation lap prior to the start of action at 5 p.m.

Jake Kilshaw 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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