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Shanghai Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday notebook from Shanghai…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***A decision has been made on the incident at Fuji involving Gustavo Yacaman and Richard Bradley, with an announcement to be made prior to Sunday’s race. With the Stewards still en route to China, the announcement is unlikely to be made until Friday at the earliest.

***Following the late withdrawal of the Young Driver Aston Martin over Balance of Performance concerns, a total of 31 cars are here this weekend, including the one-off entry from Pegasus Racing for Alex Brundle plus David Cheng and Ho-Pin Tung, the only two Chinese drivers in the race.

***There’s two new faces to the FIA WEC in Matheo Tuscher and Tom Dillmann joining Rebellion Racing and Signatech Alpine, respectively, while Klaus Bachler returns to Abu Dhabi Proton Racing after missing the last three rounds. Richie Stanaway is also back in the No. 99 Aston Martin after a one-race hiatus.

***Nick Heidfeld misses his second consecutive race, leaving the No. 12 Rebellion R-One AER to a two-driver lineup, but will return for next month’s season finale in Bahrain.

***Chip Ganassi Racing and Ford are expected to announce the driver lineup for its factory Ford GT program on Dec. 18. A number of names have recently surfaced for its two-car WEC effort, the most prominent being Stefan Muecke. The team is coming off an encouraging test at Sebring last week.

***Toni Vilander got his first laps in Ferrari’s 488 GTB car earlier this week at a test in Monza. The car will make its competition debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, with AF Corse still evaluating a possible entry. “It was great to be in the car and nice to be part of something new,” Vilander told Sportscar365.

***In addition to Porsche potentially clinching the Manufacturers’ World Championship, SMP Racing could wrap up the GTE-Am title this weekend as well. The Russian squad heads in with a 29-point lead, with a class win being enough to seal the title for drivers Andrea Bertolini, Viktor Shaitar and Aleksey Basov.

***Porsche has opted for a similar, high downforce aero package that it most recently used in Fuji. “Compared to Shanghai last year, this is a lot higher level and has a positive affect on the car’s balance and tire wear,” said technical director Alex Hitzinger.

***World Series by Renault front-runner Tio Ellinas will join Lewis Williamson in Strakka Racing’s Gibson 015S Nissan at next month’s Rookie Test in Bahrain. Ellinas was awarded the test for being the team’s top scorer in its open-wheel program.

***Despite a recent media report casting questions over the event, Sportscar365 understands plans for the Mexico City round are moving forward, with a letter of intent between the promoter and the WEC already in place. A final contract with the circuit is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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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