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Shanghai Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday notebook from Shanghai…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

***The opening day of track activity at Shanghai saw dry but mostly overcast conditions. Forecasts, however, call for a 60 percent chance of rain on Sunday. If the wet weather materializes, it would continue a streak of rain-affected races this year.

***Friday’s big sports car racing news came away from the track, with Darren Cox announcing his resignation fro Nissan. It’s unclear what ripple effects Cox’s departure could have on the Japanese manufacturer’s motorsports involvement.

***Multiple sources have indicated to Sportscar365 that Cox, the mastermind behind the GT Academy program, will be starting his own automotive consulting firm.

***The addition of Tom Dillmann to the Signatech Alpine lineup has caused some concerns from LMP2 competitors this weekend, with the French open-wheel star — a former GP2 race winner — being Silver-rated. Dillmann replaces gentleman driver Vincent Capilierre.

***LMP1 teams will have a total of eight sets of Michelin tires to use in the race, up from the normal six sets allocated for a typical six-hour race due to the circuit’s abrasive nature. It will likely result in teams single-stinting tires on Sunday.

***Henri Pescarolo will be the Grand Marshal on Sunday. The four-time overall winner at Le Mans took part in the BPR event at Zhuhai in 1994, the first-ever international sports car race in China. Pescarolo last served as a Grand Marshal at the Six Hours of Fuji event in 2004.

***The Pegasus Racing Morgan-Nissan, which makes a one-off appearance this weekend, does not feature the 2015 EVO update, as seen on the season-long Morand entry. It is also the only LMP2 car running on Michelin tires.

***ACO President Pierre Fillon will race in next weekend’s VdeV Endurance Series race at Estoril in a Ligier JS P3 alongside Onroak Automotive boss Jacques Nicolet and his son, Pierre. Fillon turned his first laps in the car earlier this month during the European Le Mans Series weekend in Portugal.

***Hugues Ripert, the boss of Spark Model, is driving in this weekend’s Porsche Carrera Cup Asia round, which is one of three support series on the bill, including the popular Audi R8 LMS Cup.

***Entertainment this weekend at the track includes a Top Gear China show in the fan village, as well as performances by renowned Chinese band Tomahawk, which will also be on the starting grid on Sunday.

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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