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GT World Challenge America

Road America Thursday Notebook

John Dagys’ Thursday PWC notebook from Road America…

Photo: John Dagys

***A total of 25 GT/GTA/GT Cup cars are set for this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge Sprint round at Road America, down from the initial 29 entries. It marks the first single-driver, 50-minute race format since Long Beach in April, following three consecutive SprintX weekends.

***Despite again being on the entry list, the No. 27 Dream Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 is a no-show, with the Las Vegas-based team concentrating on its GT Cup-class Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo for Yuki Harata.

***Yufeng Luo is also not here this weekend, leaving Bentley Team Absolute with a single-car effort for Adderly Fong, while the No. 69 Champ1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Pablo Perez Companc and Marko Radisic’s GT Cup class Precision Driving Ferrari 458 Challenge Evo appear to be no-shows as well.

***The most notable absence, though, is the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 of Alex Riberas, who currently sits third in the Sprint GT championship standings. A team representative told Sportscar365 that the car is still being repaired from Riberas’ accident at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last month, with a revised schedule still being determined.

***Should the car return to action later this year, it’s understood Riberas would not be at the wheel. R. Ferri has its Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 here this weekend for Marc Muzzo in the GTA class.

***A total of 11 TC cars have been added to the pair of GTS races this weekend, as non-points invitational rounds. It marks the first time TC cars have raced alongside the GTS class since 2010, when PWC featured a combined three-class format of GT, GTS and TC.

***Both the McLaren 650S GT3 and Bentley Continental GT3 have received increases in top-end turbo boost for this weekend, compared to the last Category B track, at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last month. CTMP, Road America and Virginia International Raceway all fall into the same category in the SRO’s variable Balance of Performance system.

***The Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo, meanwhile, has been given a 15kg increase in minimum weight in GT Cup, with multiple changes to cars in the GTS class. It includes a 10kg weight break for the Maserati GT4, 25kg increase for the Panoz Avezzano GT, a 200 rpm limit increase for the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR and revised gearing for the KTM X-Bow GT4s.

***DIME Racing debuts its Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo this weekend with Ricco Shlaimoun at the wheel. The California-based team turned its first laps with the ex-DAC Motorsports Lamborghini on Thursday, according to technical director Mark Schomann.

***Team director Rod Shegem told Sportscar365 they are planning to have its GT3-spec Huracan back in action in the next round at Mid-Ohio with Jonathan Summerton, with another pro driver set to join Summerton in the car for the remaining SprintX races.

***Summerton is here this weekend coaching 15-year-old Shlaimoun, who makes his GT Cup debut after taking part in the PWC GTS round at VIR in April in one of ANSA Motorsports’ KTMs.

***PWC officials revealed the findings of its post-race investigation into the start of SprintX Race 2 at Lime Rock Park in Thursday’s drivers’ meeting. It’s understood multiple cars were deemed at fault for the Turn 1 pileup, including the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Marc Lieb, who reportedly checked up prior to the green flag and subsequent contact from Niccolo Schiro in the No. 31 TR3 Racing Ferrari 488 GT3.

***While no further action has been taken on the TR3 Ferrari, which served a drive-through penalty for the contact with Lieb, officials are understood to be cracking down further on future incidents that result in car-to-car contact, akin to SRO’s newly introduced “zero tolerance” conduct policy in the Blancpain GT Series.

***Four PWC drivers are fresh off last weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Patrick Long and Mike Hedlund teamed up in a Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR for a ninth place finish in the GTE-Am class, while Alvaro Parente came home 11th, also in GTE-Am, in a Clearwater Racing Ferrari 488 GTE. Pierre Kaffer, meanwhile, was taken out of the race in a crash in his GTE-Pro class Risi Competizione Ferrari.

***Preston Calvert makes his first GTA start of the season this weekend, in a third GMG Racing-entered Porsche, the chassis he typically uses with Alec Udell in SprintX races. Team engineer Stefan Pfeiffer told Sportscar365 the objective is to get Calvert additional seat time, due to the lack of track time in the two-driver SprintX weekends.

***Calvert is set to also take part in the Mid-Ohio Sprint round, according to GMG team owner James Sofronas, who is fielding three Porsche 911 GT3 Rs for the first time. Sofronas told Sportscar365 they recently took delivery of a fourth Porsche GT3 chassis, in anticipation for an expanded program in 2018.

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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