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Long Beach PWC Friday Notebook

Ryan Myrehn’s Friday PWC Notebook from Long Beach…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***K-PAX Racing’s Alvaro Parente has some phrases that might be familiar to fans of Pokemon GO adorning his McLaren 650S GT3 this weekend. Graphics that say “Leveling Up”, “Attack Dodge” and other lingo from the popular smartphone game appear on the car as a special surprise for one of the creators of the Youtube “Trainer Tips” page, who is a guest of team owner Jim Haughey this weekend.

***Haughey is an avid Pokemon GO player, and recently became the 532nd player to reach Level 40, the highest achievable level in the game. “You do better at it if you’re out walking around, because the Pokestops use the GPS on your phone,” Haughey told Sportscar365. “I do a five-mile walk every morning, it’s my routine. Before, I was just walking along listening to my podcasts, then I downloaded the app. It fit into my daily routine.”

***K-PAX will utilize a lineup of Parente and Ben Barnicoat in one McLaren for SprintX this season, with Johnny Kane set to join Bryan Sellers in the sister entry. Barnicoat and Parente are also teammates in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, for Strakka Racing. 

***Cadillac’s driver lineups for SprintX have not yet been decided. The team is expected to confirm the pairings sometime during the VIR weekend. Additional drivers Jordan and Ricky Taylor have both tested and completed seat fittings for the Cadillac ATS-V.R.

***The GT Cup class is poised for an increased car count at the SprintX season open, with at least three Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeos and several Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars understood to be taking part in the championship.

***Ryan Dalziel had a successful day pulling double duty in both Pirelli World Challenge and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, topping the PWC practice session and setting the second fastest lap in the first WeatherTech Championship practice.

***Dalziel said he can draw from past experience to help prepare for busy weekends like this one. “I’m fortunate to have been able to do this a few times in the past so I think I’m pretty relaxed about it these days,” he said. “For sure the worst case scenario will be finishing one session and having to run to start the next session. So when we plan between our teams the running schedule we will take this into consideration.”

***DIME Racing gave the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 its PWC debut at the hands of Jonathan Summerton, who turned his first laps in the car this weekend. Summerton has not raced at Long Beach since a pair of open-wheel starts in 2008 (Atlantics) and 2009 (Indy Lights). He finished fourth in both races, and was P16 in Friday’s practice.

***Summerton is making a return to the race track after branching out into the world of Silicon Valley as the Vice President of Business Development at digital currency company Snapcard.

***Alec Udell’s first session as a GT class driver was a strong one, posting the 9th fastest time of Practice 1. The Clemson University mechanical engineering student was elevated from GTA by the race stewards after his strong debut in the class in St. Petersburg.

***Motor Trend OnDemand, which carries PWC, recently announced it has expanded into the UK and Europe. The announcement comes as welcome news for PWC fans in that part of the world who will now be able to watch the series on the online streaming service.

***A brief practice from 8:45-9:05 a.m. PT Saturday morning leads directly into 25 minutes of qualifying to set the field for Sunday’s race. Same-day television coverage of the third round of the World Challenge season is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT on CBS Sports Network.

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is a pit reporter for SRO America's TV coverage as well as for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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