***Wolf Henzler has been a late addition to the entry list for the Six Hours of Shanghai. The Porsche factory driver has joined Proton Competition, filling in for Klaus Bachler, who is on Porsche Supercup duty at Circuit of The Americas this weekend. Henzler recently claimed class victory at Petit Le Mans with Team Falken Tire in a similar Porsche 911 RSR.
***The GTE-Am grid has been reduced to a season-low five entries this weekend, following the withdrawals of the two AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italias. Luis-Perez Companc, who had funded the No. 61 car up until COTA, has reportedly pulled out due to BoP concerns, while the No. 81 Ferrari, backed by Steve Wyatt, will not race as he’s competing in a race in Malaysia this weekend. That entry is expected to return for Bahrain.
***The AF Corse-run 8Star Motorsports effort is utilizing the withdrawn No. 61 Ferrari chassis this weekend, with the No. 90 car in AF Corse red instead of its signature orange livery. Matteo Cressoni makes his FIA WEC debut in the car alongside seasonlong pilots Paolo Ruberti and Gianluca Roda.
***The Lotus CLM P1/01 AER returned to action Friday following a mammoth repair job for the German squad. More than 100 hours were put into the rebuild of the LMP1-L car following Christophe Bouchut’s fire in Fuji. Pierre Kaffer and Lucas Auer will pilot the car this weekend.
***Changes to the red flag procedure have been made following the incident-filled Circuit of The Americas round. Cars that pit prior to a red will now be allowed to rejoin the field immediately after the race is resumed. However, cars that elect to pit after the red flag will still be subject to being held in the pit lane for one lap, a situation that caught out some teams during the sudden downpour last month in Austin.
***While Extreme Speed Motorsports makes its overseas debut, the American squad has two former FIA WEC LMP2 champions at the wheel, in Ryan Dalziel (2012) and Ricardo Gonzalez (2013). In fact, ESM’s No. 31 HPD ARX-03b is the exact chassis that Dalziel helped take to the title, with No. 30 car engineer Steve Challis also having been part of the Starworks effort in 2012.
***The FIA Endurance Commission has reminded teams of the fuel feed pump regulations in the wake of Christophe Bouchut’s fiery exit from the Six Hours of Fuji. For LMP1 and GTE cars, all fuel pumps can only be in operation when the engine is running or is being started, while they are allowed to be switched on during pit stops for LMP2 entries only.
***GTE-Am championship leaders David Heinemeier Hansson and Kristian Poulsen, who collected their third class win of the year at Fuji, sit sixth overall in the World Endurance Cup for GT drivers (GTE combined). Remarkably, the Aston Martin Racing duo have failed to finish lower than second in class all season and now have a hefty 39-point lead. Richie Stanaway rejoins the duo this weekend.