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Mexico City Wednesday Notebook

John Dagys’ Wednesday notebook from Mexico City…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***The WEC paddock is without two of its family members this weekend, as pit lane chief Alain Tannier and media manager Fiona Miller are both in the hospital. Drivers and WEC staff assembled Wednesday evening for a group photo, wishing Fi a speedy recovery. 

***A total of 32 entries are set for this weekend’s inaugural Six Hours of Mexico presented by AT&T, with a number of notable changes made over the summer break for the FIA World Endurance Championship. The biggest has come from Rebellion Racing, which scales back to a single Rebellion R-One for the remainder of the season, with its No. 13 car for Matheo Tuscher, Dominik Kraihamer and Alexandre Imperatori.

***Manor has also entered only one of its Oreca 05 Nissans, with Matt Rao and Richard Bradley moving over to the No. 44 car with Alfonso “Picho” Toledano, who is one of four Mexican drivers in the race. The British team expects to have its No. 45 car back out for the next round at Circuit of The Americas.

***Benoit Treluyer will be back behind the wheel of the No. 7 Audi R18 after missing the last round at the Nürburgring due to a back injury, while Ricky Taylor has joined Larbre Competition for the first of a three-race program in the team’s Corvette C7.R, replacing Paolo Ruberti.

***Greaves Motorsport makes its first regular-season WEC start since Bahrain 2013, with its Gibson 015S Nissan for local favorites Luis Diaz, Roberto Gonzalez and Brazilian ace Bruno Junqueira, while the GTE-Am class No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage switches from Dunlop to Michelin tires for the remainder of the season.

***The No. 27 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR01 Nissan is again with a two-driver lineup, with David Markozov absent for the third consecutive race, leaving Nic Minassian and Maurizio Mediani to handle driving duties. Mikhail Aleshin could join the pairing beginning at Fuji.

***A 90-minute Collective Test is scheduled for 9 a.m. local time tomorrow, which will give competitors additional running time on the 17-turn, 2.674-mile circuit. Tire allocations will not be taken into account for the test, although full-season LMP1 and LMP2 teams are required to adhere to their season-long allocated engine limits.

***A sellout crowd is expected this weekend, according to promoter Ricardo Gonzalez. Gonzalez, who is also driving his No. 43 RGR Sport Ligier JS P2 Nissan, told Sportscar365 that 51,000 reserved tickets have already been sold, with only 4,000 available as of Wednesday morning.

***Normally aspirated cars will have significantly less performance this weekend in the high altitude, with Nissan estimating a 20 to 25 percent decrease in power of its VK45DE powerplant in LMP2. The difference is expected to impact overtaking, particlarly between the LMP2 and GTE cars.

***Mexico is the 10th different country the WEC has visited since its inception, joining the U.S. (Sebring and COTA), Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps), France (Le Mans), England (Silverstone), Japan (Fuji), China (Shanghai), Bahrain, Brazil (Interlagos) and Germany (Nürburgring).

***This weekend’s race is the first major sports car racing event in Mexico since Grand-Am’s four-year stint at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez from 2005-08. Grand-Am utilized a similar layout to the WEC, but the facility has since seen significant upgrades for Formula One’s return last year.

***The 2006 Grand-Am race made headlines for the fist-fight between J.C. France and Chris Bingham (1:35 in the video below).

***All three Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTEs will be supporting National Blood Week in the UK by removing the “A” and “O” letters from its team name on the windshield and rear wing for the #missingtype campaign. A number of other UK companies have helped raise awareness for the international shortage of A and O-type blood.

***Despite having submitted an entry request and having initially been placed on the reserve list, Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GTS-R will not take part in the next round at COTA, according to Bill Riley. A total of 32 cars are also expected for the Texan round.

***Greaves Motorsport team manager Jacob Greaves told Sportscar365 they had tried to also enter COTA with its Gibson 015S Nissan but the entry deadline had passed by the time Rebellion withdrew its second car. The Gibson could make an end-of-year appearance in the Asian Le Mans Series.

***For 2017, Greaves said they are planning at least one new LMP2 car for the European Le Mans Series, as well as a potential full-season return to the WEC. They have narrowed down their car choice to two constructors, one of them being Onroak Automotive. A final decision on its car choice will be made in October.

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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