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24H Le Mans

Le Mans Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday notebook from Le Mans…

Photo: Brian Cleary/bcpix.com

Photo: Brian Cleary/bcpix.com

***Tomorrow marks Ford’s long-awaited announcement of its return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 3 p.m. local announcement will be streamed at http://bit.ly/FordPerformanceSpecialEvent at 9 a.m. ET in the U.S.

***Along those lines, Chip Ganassi Racing team manager Mike O’Gara and driver Scott Pruett were spotted on pit lane today. Ganassi will be a “special guest” during Ford’s press conference.

***The 2017 LMP2 rules stipulate that it will be up to each series to manage its tire deal. ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil is not anticipating a spec tire for the FIA World Endurance Championship or European Le Mans Series at the moment.

***ACO President Pierre Fillon hinted that further LMP1 news could be made in the coming days.

***The ACO is launching a Women’s Pavilion at the circuit, to pay tribute to all the women in various roles who have made a major impact on the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Further information is linked here, via the official race website.

***Lesa France Kennedy, CEO of International Speedway Corp., gave a roughly three-minute presentation on the new Daytona Rising grandstands during today’s ACO press conference.

***It’s understood that SARD may no longer be involved with Morand Racing’s LMP2 effort. Team owner Benoit Morand told Sportscar365 they are still talking and may work together in the future. Morand expects to continue with one Morgan-Judd for the remainder of the FIA WEC season.

***Arnage corner will undergo a change this fall, with a roundabout being added on the south side of the circuit, but it won’t affect the corner itself. The information was confirmed Tuesday morning, during a visit to the security teams of the Department of Sarthe during the closure of the track. (En Français)

***While Wayne Taylor Racing isn’t racing here this weekend, team principal Wayne Taylor and his longtime co-driver Max Angelelli were due to arrive at Le Mans on Thursday. Konica Minolta is an associate sponsor for Corvette Racing; Taylor will see son Jordan race, while Angelelli serves as Ryan Briscoe’s manager.

***Michael Shank is also expected to make an appearance this weekend, as part of a recon trip towards a planned debut in the race next year. It’s understood Ozz Negri will not make the trip to France, as originally planned.

Tony DiZinno and Marcel ten Caat 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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