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Lime Rock Friday Notebook

John Dagys’ Friday PWC notebook from Lime Rock…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

***Flying Lizard Motorsports not only scored its first Pirelli World Challenge victory in Friday’s GTS race, but it was also the first win for the team under the ownership of Darren Law, Tommy Sadler and Thomas Blam, who bought the team from Seth Neiman in 2014. “The guys have worked so hard,” Law said. “We’ve been in position all year. I really wanted our drivers to get this, and they both drove a phenomenal race.”

***Rodrigo Baptista, who took the team’s Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR to the narrow victory over Ian James, admitted the mixed conditions in the shortened 40-minute race played a factor in their double podium finish. “The mid-engined car is really balanced,” he told Sportscar365. “In the dry, the car is really good but I don’t know if it’s [quite] like this, in these conditions.”

***James claimed the Panoz Avezzano GT’s best-finish to date and first podium result after a strong run that also saw the car lead its first laps. Their previous-best result came at Virginia International Raceway last month when James finished third on the road in Race 2 but was given a post-race penalty by PWC, which demoted him to fourth in the official results.

***A total of 28 cars took part in Friday’s SprintX race, down from the initial 34-car entry. Both the No. 7 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia and No. 07 Dream Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3s were again no-shows, while a handful of GTS teams pulling double duty between both series focused on the GTS Sprint race.

***The most notable absence this weekend has been the No. 61 R Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 of Alex Riberas and Kyle Marcelli, which wasn’t able to be repaired in time following Riberas’ accident in qualifying at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

***The No. 11 Precision Driving Ferrari 458 Evo Challenge car has made its return to the series for the first time since its weekend-ending fire at St. Pete. Dani Clos and Marko Radisic finished fourth in the GT Cup class on Friday.

***TR3 Racing managed to get its Ferrari 488 GT3 back on track for Friday’s 60-minute race after an accident in practice. The condensed schedule, which saw qualifying run immediately after the one-and-only practice session followed by only a three-hour break before the race, left little turnaround time for competitors.

***Only two cars, the No. 007 TRG Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 and No. 6 K-PAX McLaren 650S GT3 were found to have gone under the mandated 60 or 90-second minimum pit stop time in the race, a marked improvement over recent races. Both cars served drive-through penalties as a result of the infraction.

***VOLT Racing has switched to a new Ford Mustang this weekend, in a trial race for the team, which has campaigned McLaren 570S GT4 cars. Team regulars Chris Hall and Alan Brynjolfsson are behind the wheel of the KohR Motorsports-owned chassis, which has been driven by Dean Martin and Jack Roush Jr. in IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competition so far this year. Martin is on-site this weekend to support the team’s effort.

***It is one of only two GT4-based Mustangs currently in existence, with the other car having been run by PF Motorsports last weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It’s understood Multimatic has yet to build additional chassis until it receives final SRO GT4 homologation. As was the case last weekend, the Mustang is again running under an interim PWC GTS homologation.

***The Mercedes-AMG GT3 has been handed a 20kg increase in minimum weight, equaling the adjustment made to the car in Track Category B Balance of Performance that was in effect at CTMP. There’s also been a slight increase in top-end turbo boost for the Acura NSX GT3 for this weekend.

***Lime Rock Park is the third Category B track of the season, and first since Long Beach. Other tracks that fall under SRO’s specific category are St. Pete, Sonoma Raceway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which comprises of the majority of the 2017 schedule.

***BoP changes have also been made in the GTS ranks, with the Camaro GT4.R getting 35kg of added weight from its initial configuration at St. Pete, while 5kg has been added to the Maserati GT4, along with a 500 rpm reduction. The Panoz Avezzano GT, meanwhile, has been given a 20kg weight break but with 4th and 5th gears restricted to 7,000 rpm.

***A number of season-long PWC drivers are not here this weekend due to the Nürburgring 24, including Pierre Kaffer, Marco Seefried, Joerg Bergmeister, Alexandre Imperatori and Laurens Vanthoor. Former Nürburgring 24 winner Jeroen Bleekemolen, however, has chosen Lime Rock over the “Green Hell” despite having multiple offers for the race.

***The Touring Car class sees an influx of star drivers, with Dane Cameron in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M235iR and Randy Pobst set for his series return in a BMW fielded by Zima Motorsports. Cameron is pulling double-duty between his TC entry and the No. 4 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS, filling for Kaffer.

***Will Turner, meanwhile, made his 120th professional start in a BMW on Friday, in the second Turner Motorsport-entered M235iR. Turner’s last full-time season of racing came in 2009. The Turner entries are currently one-offs, with the team focusing its efforts in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this year.

***Elivan Goulart held off a charging Paul Holton for the TC victory on Friday, taking his Krugspeed Lotus Exige to victory lane. Cameron finished third in the race.

***A total of 18 BMW M235iRs are competing at Lime Rock, outnumbering the dozen of the single-make cars entered in this weekend’s Nürburgring 24.

***Watch the second SprintX race of the weekend Saturday at 1:10 p.m. ET on Motor Trend on Demand, with the GTS race set for 2:40 p.m. The races will air on CBS Sports Network on Sun. May 4 at 5:30 p.m. ET (SprintX) and Wed. June 147at 9 p.m. ET (GTS).

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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