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Long Beach PWC Thursday Notebook

Ryan Myrehn’s Thursday notebook from Long Beach…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Pirelli World Challenge officials indicated that they would have capped the number of entries in this weekend’s single Sprint round of the championship at 30 cars, but are pleased they were not forced to turn anyone away. A total of 23 GT and GTA entries that are set to compete on the 1.968-mile street course.

***World Challenge GT Class Director Rob Morgan has some racing history of his own on the famous Long Beach street circuit. Morgan raced in the 2006 Grand-Am race at Long Beach, which saw 26 Daytona Prototypes take the green flag.

***Co-driving with his father Charles Morgan in a TruSpeed Motorsports-entered Porsche Riley, Morgan finished 13th in a race that was won by Chip Ganassi Racing’s Luis Diaz and Scott Pruett.

***Acura teams RealTime Racing (PWC) and Michael Shank Racing (IMSA) conducted a joint test at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on Tuesday with drivers Ryan Eversley, Tom Dyer, and Jeff Segal. Both teams and four Acura NSX GT3 cars are in action this weekend across the two series.

“We basically put the Mike Shank setup on one car and the RealTime setup on the other car and then we swapped,” Eversley told Sportscar365. “It was one of those thing where you don’t normally get the chance to do that because you might not have another team that you’re working with.”

***DIME Racing’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 is being engineered by Mark Schomann, who engineered the same chassis last month in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring when it was being run by DAC Motorsports. Schomann worked with DIME throughout the 2016 season with driver Frankie Montecalvo.

***DIME team owner Rod Shegem said the team is committed to the full SprintX season, with the second driver alongside Jonathan Summerton expected to be announced in the coming weeks. It is understood two different Am drivers are in contention for a SprintX Pro-Am class entry.

***This weekend’s race marks the largest single-gathering of Porsche 911 GT3 Rs in a single event, with five cars in PWC and four taking part in Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round. Porsche held a pre-event party at its Experience Center in Carson on Wednesday evening, hosted by Circle Porsche. 

***It’s a busy weekend for SPAA05, which has its Race Position leader lights systems outfitted on all Pirelli World Challenge, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Verizon IndyCar Series cars this weekend. The Dutch company’s systems debuted on PWC machinery in last month’s season-opener in St. Pete.

***Bryan Sellers and Ryan Dalziel are two of the busiest drivers in the paddock this weekend at Long Beach with commitments in both Pirelli World Challenge and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

***Sellers will be looking to build upon finishes of fifth and ninth in the opening World Challenge round of the season at St. Petersburg in his K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 alongside his role with Paul Miller Racing in IMSA. Dalziel is back behind the wheel of the CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 in World Challenge in addition to his duties with Tequila Patron ESM in IMSA.

***Dalziel is set for the full season in World Challenge, but the identity of his co-driver for the SprintX rounds remains unclear. It is understood that the team has narrowed down its list of candidates and is expected to make an announcement some time next week.

***The first practice session of the weekend is scheduled for tomorrow from 3:30-4:30 p.m. PT, with a brief practice from 8:45-9:05 a.m. PT which leads directly into 25 minutes of qualifying on Saturday. The race is set for Sunday morning, with same-day television coverage on CBS Sports Network at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT.

John Dagys contributed to this report.

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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