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GT World Challenge America

CTMP Weekend Notebook

Ryan Myrehn’s SRO America weekend notebook from CTMP…

Photo: Brian Cleary/SRO America

***Damage from Pirelli GT4 America SprintX/East Race 1 has forced the Park Place Motorsports duo of Alan Brynjolfsson and Trent Hindman to go to a backup car for Race 2 on Saturday. Brynjolfsson told Sportscar365 that the initial Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport chassis had suffered significant damage that could not be repaired on site.

***The switch to the backup car means that Hindman will lose his pole position that he earned in qualifying on Friday and will start from the rear of the field. This promotes Murillo Racing’s Christian Szymczak to pole for the race, which gets underway at 4 p.m. EDT today.

***Also starting from the rear will be the No. 51 Team Panoz Racing Avezzano GT4 of Preston Calvert and Matt Keegan which suffered a loss of power in Race 1. The team elected to change the engine in the car and will lose its ninth-place starting position earned in qualifying.

***Mechanical problems sidelined a promising start to GT4 Sprint Race 1 for KohR Motorsports driver Nate Stacy. Stacy had moved from 17th to 10th on the opening lap before the first caution but noticed something amiss while running behind the safety car.

***The team diagnosed a broken ear on the subframe on the team’s Ford Mustang GT4 and needs a replacement part from Multimatic to make the grid for Race 2. It is unclear at the time of publishing if the part will be sourced in time.

***Despite only racing in Blancpain GT World Challenge America this weekend, Kyle Marcelli’s name appears on both his Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 as well as the KohR Motorsports Mustang, causing a small amount of confusion in the paddock. The Mustang is the same chassis that Stacy and Marcelli share in IMSA competition and was pressed into SRO America duty following Rich Golinello’s hard crash at VIR.

***Pirelli GT4 America Sprint Race 1 winner Nicolai Elghanayan said his Marco Polo Motorsports team discovered a new setup approach at VIR which has suited the car very well at CTMP as well. Elghanayan has been fast all weekend, claiming pole and winning Race 1 and setting the second fastest lap of the race.

***Flying Lizard Motorsports will have to replace the chassis that was damaged in an accident and subsequent fire in the last round at VIR with Michael Dinan behind the wheel. Team manager Darren Law said that the crash damage affected the tub, the fire burnt rear harness, ECU, and all of the electronics. Dinan has been ruled out of the next two rounds due to a shoulder injury sustained in the crash but the team expects him to be ready for the series’ trip to Portland.

***Although Dinan has been sidelined, Flying Lizard will be on the grid at Sonoma with a newly announced deal with driver Erin Vogel. Law told Sportscar365 that the deal for Sonoma came together independent of Michael being out.

***Vogel’s strong pace in testing and Pirelli Trophy West competition this year, plus the fact that it is her home track, made this the ideal opportunity for her to make her pro racing debut. The chassis that Vogel will use is the same Audi R8 LMS GT4 that Mike Hedlund campaigned last year.

***Bentley factory drivers Andy Soucek and Maxime Soulet are both making their CTMP debuts this weekend. Both spent extensive time learning the circuit on a sim and took the majority of practice on Thursday to get familiarized with the track. Both cars will start in the top six for Race 1 led by the No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 of Soulet at Rodrigo Baptista.

***Also utilizing a driving simulator to learn the circuit was Pirelli GT4 America SprintX Race 1 winner Matt Travis, who said that hours spent on iRacing have helped him get up to speed.

***Racers Edge Motorsports PR ace Erin Charlton is part of the team’s over the wall crew once again this weekend. Charlton debuted as the air jack operator at VIR and is reprising her role again this weekend.

***Race 1 for Blancpain GT World Challenge America is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. EDT on Saturday with Race 2 on Sunday at 10:10 a.m. The final Pirelli GT4 America SprintX race of the weekend will begin at 4:00 p.m., while Race 2 for the Sprint competitors will be at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

***All races will be streamed live at the series website with same day delayed coverage of World Challenge America Race 2 on CBS Sports Network in the United States.

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based journalist and sportscaster, covering IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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