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Blancpain GT America

Road America Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday notebook from SRO America paddock at Road America…

Photo: Brian Cleary/BCPix.com

***An accident in opening Pirelli GT4 America practice by David Donohue, in his debut with Andretti Autosport, ruled the team’s No. 36 McLaren 570S GT4 out of the remainder of the Friday’s action although is expected to be ready for GT4 SprintX qualifying on Saturday.

***It was the only significant incident to occur on Friday across all SRO Motorsports America series.

***In a bulletin issued Friday afternoon, SRO America has rescinded the the mandatory enforcement of Pirelli’s tire prescriptions for pressure and camber this weekend following data collected from Practice 1 and “updated information” from the manufacturers to the series.

***While teams are all “strongly encouraged” to adhere to Pirelli’s recommendations, teams are now able to declare their own starting pressures and camber settings for this weekend only, via a waiver.  Tire prescriptions will become “mandated and enforced” beginning in next month’s season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and into the 2020 season.

***RealTime Racing allowed fans attending last evening’s welcome party at Siebkens Resort to sign the hood of its No. 43 Acura NSX GT3 Evo. Dane Cameron heads into the weekend 21 points behind the Pro-Am class-leading duo of Kyle Marcelli and Martin Barkey.

***RealTime will be hosting its annual chicken roast tomorrow evening at the Road America Center. The Peter Cunningham-owned team is located in nearby Saukville, Wis. A number of the team’s Acuras are on display in the paddock.

***The 2020 SRO America schedules are expected to be finalized shortly, according to series President and CEO Greg Gill. “The number of races we’re having is staying fixed but there’s just a couple of venues that we’re waiting for some final details on,” Gill told Sportscar365.

***Gill said they’ve looked at an early March date for the anticipated season-opener at Circuit of The Americas, which was listed as to-be-confirmed on the provisional schedule that was released in July and has since seen confirmation of a Pirelli GT4 SprintX round at Long Beach.

***Details on the track configuration for next month’s season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway have yet to be released, with SRO America awaiting the final inspection from the FIA, which is scheduled to take place the week of the event, according to Gill, who likened the process to the homologation of a street circuit.

***An official test session at LVMS is scheduled for Thurs. Oct. 17, with Pirelli understood to have already conducted tire testing on portions of the track.

***Road America is a special place for TRG team owner Kevin Buckler, who first started racing at the circuit over 30 years ago. “I had my first-ever track day at Road America in 1988 and I was hooked,” he says. “This place is just steeped in history. Road America is a TRG favorite, and we’ve had some fantastic success here and some terrific times!”

***CrowdStrike is again hosting another CXO Summit this weekend, which allows partners, customers and guests to discuss emerging trends in cybersecurity. Among the speakers on-hand will include CrowdStrike/AWS racing driver CJ Moses and Shawn Henry, President of CrowdStrike Services.

“This is one of the weekends that everyone at CrowdStrike has been looking forward to all season,” said George Kurtz, CrowdStrike co-founder and CEO. “Road America provides fantastic racing, and we’ll be joined by customers who have enjoyed this track before plus a few who will experience a CrowdStrike race weekend for the first time.”

***Alec Udell, who is making his return to SRO America competition for the first time since the season-opener at Circuit of The Americas, is set to compete in two end-of-year VLN rounds, in order to gain his permit to race in the Nürburgring 24. Udell told Sportscar365 that he also has a test in an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo lined up, with the goal of competing in GT World Challenge Europe Sprint next year.

***No fewer than four drivers, including Matt Keegan, Johan Schwartz, Hanna Zellers and Paul Terry, are pulling double duty between the Saleen Cup races and SRO America competition this weekend. Team Panoz Racing driver Keegan topped the time charts in the single-make series’ practice on Friday, with a lap of 2:18.274, which was more than a half-second faster than the quickest GT4 car on the day.

***Saturday’s action includes the first races of the weekend for GT World Challenge America (2:20 p.m. CT), GT4 America Sprint (1:10 p.m.) and GT4 America SprintX/East (5 p.m.), with all qualifying sessions and races streamed live on the series’ official website.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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