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Fuji Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday notebook from Fuji Speedway…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***The FIA WEC’s trip to Nürburgring next August will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the famed 1,000 km race. The event comes as a welcome addition for German manufacturers Audi and Porsche, as well as Cologne-based TMG, which operates the factory Toyota LMP1 program.

***Next year’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps has been increased from a to a three-day event, taking place on April 30-May 2. The race had previously been a two-day event for the last two years.

***The No. 26 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2 Nissan will face a three-position grid penalty after Roman Rusinov overtook a car while under Full Course Yellow in Friday’s second free practice session.

***After driving no fewer than six different cars in the past year, Jeroen Bleekemolen makes his debut at the wheel of a Ferrari F458 Italia this weekend, teaming with Americans Bret Curtis and Mike Skeen in the No. 61 AF Corse entry. Remarkably, it’s the Dutchman’s first time in a Prancing Horse.

***In addition to Curtis and Skeen, who makes his FIA WEC debut, the Six Hours of Fuji sees a third American in the field with Jeff Segal returning to the No. 90 8Star Motorsports Ferrari, which is also run by AF Corse.

***Talk continues about a racing return for Emerson Fittipaldi in November’s season-ending Six Hours of Sao Paulo. While nothing appears to be confirmed, the motorsports legend is rumored to be part of an all-Brazilian driver lineup in an OAK Racing LMP2 entry.

***Alexandre Imperatori, who makes his return to the KCMG Oreca 03R Nissan this weekend, has been confirmed in the LMP2 entry for the remainder of the season. The Hong Kong-backed squad is coming off its first class victory of the season at Circuit of The Americas.

***At least one current LMP2 team is evaluating a move to LMP1-L next year with a Rebellion R-One. ORECA has built a total of three R-Ones, with the Anglo-Swiss squad having its spare chassis on hand in the remaining FIA WEC races.

***Krohn Racing’s new Ligier JS P2 Judd is scheduled for a shakedown at Estoril later this month. Krohn’s entry will be the first of the Onroak Automotive-built cars to be fitted with a Judd powerplant.

***Could a Ford EcoBoost be the next engine to be installed in the back of a Ligier? OAK/Onroak President Jacques Nicolet said an existing DP team could make the switch to a Ligier post-Daytona. It’s known Michael Shank Racing had been evaluating a switch to P2.

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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