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24H Le Mans

Le Mans Friday Notebook

Tony DiZinno’s Friday notebook from Le Mans…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Photo: Brian Cleary/

***There’s been a heavy number of penalties assessed this week, most frequently for abusing track limits and for speeding in the pit lane. More than 25 had been issued to drivers and/or teams by the end of day on Thursday. FIA WEC Race Director Eduardo Frietas warned drivers about track limits in a drivers briefing earlier in the week, and has followed through on the warning with penalties assessed.

***Corvette Racing confirmed a piece of debris got caught in the throttle mechanism on Thursday, which triggered Jan Magnussen’s accident that has forced the No. 63 Corvette C7.R to withdraw from the race. The No. 63 car is on its way back to Detroit, and is anticipated to be repaired for Watkins Glen.

***While the car is out, Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Ryan Briscoe and the rest of the Dan Binks-led crew will be remaining in France for the remainder of the weekend, as efforts shift to the remaining No. 64 car.

***Bill Riley told Sportscar365 that the Riley Motorsports team raised the rear wing on its Dodge Viper GTS-R to help reduce drag. The increased wing has brought back memories of the old Plymouth Superbird, produced in 1970, and the wing has been dubbed the “Superbird” in tribute, complete with the logo.

***Marc Goossens is on hand this week until today, helping coach and assist the team as they go through the week. Goossens also confirmed to Sportscar365 that he will drive with Cameron Lawrence and Al Carter in Riley’s second GT Daytona-spec Dodge Viper GT3-R at Watkins Glen later this month.

***Longtime Le Mans media center manager Catherine Vatteoni celebrates her 30th year working the French endurance classic. Vatteoni has been a valuable assistant to FIA World Endurance Championship events over the years as well, and has always welcomed the media with a smile.

***Several teams, including Tequila Patron ESM, are running with “Forza Jules” decals at Le Mans, out of respect for injured French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi. Bianchi suffered severe injuries last October at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka.

***Nic Hammann, the 2014 Nissan GT Academy U.S. winner, is on hand to provide garage tours this week as he makes his first trip to Le Mans. Hammann will not be racing in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Watkins Glen as scheduled, but is set to race in a different event shortly thereafter that will be announced at a later date.

***Former OAK Racing driver Guillaume Moreau, who was named an ambassador for Onroak Automotive in July, is on hand this week in his first Le Mans in this role. The now-Bronze-rated driver helps develop the company’s relations with its clients as well as the sales of the Sarthe constructor’s sports prototypes.

***Bernard Richards Manufacture (BRM) and Corvette Racing are partnering to release a series of limited-edition timepieces.

John Dagys contributed to this report

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony


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