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Fuji Saturday Notebook

John Dagys’ Saturday notebook from Fuji Speedway…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***After evaluating both packages in Free Practice on Friday, Porsche has elected to go with high downforce aero for both of its 919 Hybrids in tomorrow’s race, which is calling for a 80 percent chance of rain. “It was a close call and that’s why we compared. The drivers prefer higher downforce. It just helps them,” technical director Alex Hitzinger told Sportscar365.

***A decision has still yet to be made on the future of Porsche’s factory GTE-Pro effort next year, according to Marco Ujhasi, Overall Project Leader GT Works Motorsport. “We’ll try to make the right decision,” he told Sportscar365. “We need the confirmation of the board if we want to go. We’ll see. We’ll keep it open until the end of the season.

***Ujhasi said he has no personal concerns on a possible cutback in budget from parent company VW, in the wake of the emissions scandal. It’s understood both the Porsche and Audi LMP1 programs will also continue into 2016 unaffected.

***The No. 30 Tequila Patron ESM Ligier JS P2 Honda bounced back from a massive gearbox failure on Saturday to qualify 6th in the LMP2 class. The Ryan Dalziel and David Heinemeier Hansson-qualified entry missed the setup in qualifying, after posting an encouraging time in FP3.

***James Calado will make his European Le Mans Series debut in next weekend’s season-ending Four Hours of Estoril with JMW Motorsport. The Ferrari factory driver will join Rory Butcher and Rob Smith in the team’s Dunlop-shod F458 Italia.

***David Cheng is hoping to take his new DC Racing team to the FIA WEC in 2017. Cheng told Sportscar365 that he’s planning a potential multi-car ELMS program next year, which could include a leased LMP2 car to prepare for a step up to the World Championship the following year.

***Cheng and Ho-Pin Tung will take part in next month’s Six Hours of Shanghai in a Pegasus Racing Morgan Nissan, with the third driver still to-be-determined. Cheng said they’re talking to prospective Asian/Chinese drivers here this weekend at Fuji.

***Strakka Racing offered fans at the autograph session to sign one of the tires it will use in tomorrow’s race. “We are expecting rain so made sure the fans got to sign an intermediate tyre that should see action on track,” said team principal Dan Walmsley.

***KCMG Composites has expanded its sponsorship of Stephane Sarrazin to include the Frenchman’s efforts in the WEC and Formula E. Sarrazin is coming off last weekend’s Corisa Rally with the company’s backing.

***Be sure to download Andy Blackmore’s NISMO Spotter Guide, featuring all 31 starters for Sunday’s race.

***The Six Hours of Fuji will be broadcast live and in its entirety on FOX Sports 2, beginning Saturday at 10 p.m. ET. British Eurosport will also carry the full race, with commentary from Mark Cole, Tom Gaymor and Johnny Mowlem from 3 a.m. Sunday BST. Click Here for the full broadcast schedule.

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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