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GT World Challenge America

Monterey Saturday Notebook

John Dagys’ Saturday notebook from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Stephen Cameron Racing, winners in Saturday’s Pirelli World Challenge SprintX race, was a late addition to the grid, with the decision to add SprintX to its planned Sprint GTA program having only been made earlier this week. “I called Kyle [Marcelli] and he said yes and he’s been working with us all weekend,” Drew Regitz said.

***Marcelli, who drives a similar Audi R8 LMS ultra in Sprint for CRP Racing, feels he’s made gains by pulling double duty between the two series and teams. “It’s been good getting experience in both Audis this weekend,” he told Sportscar365. “We’ve been able to exchange feedback and sort of better the cars.”

***SprintX Race 1 featured a 15-minute red flag for a two-car accident involving GTS cars that led to confusion with the scoring. A handful of cars had pitted right as the red came out and had to be manually placed back in the correct order. Series officials reverted to the results from the previous lap.

***Brett Sandberg unofficially clinched the GTS drivers’ championship with a second place finish in Saturday’s race. The ANSA Motorsports driver made a last-corner pass on the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro Z.28/R of Lawson Aschenbach to earn enough points to lock up the title one race early. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet,” Sandberg said in the post-race press conference.

***With neither championship contender grabbing pole, a nine-point gap remains between GT leader Alvaro Parente and Patrick Long heading into tomorrow’s showdown. The Porsche factory driver will need to win the race, or finish two or three positions ahead of Parente in order to claim the title.

***K-PAX Racing holds a 25-point lead in the GT Teams’ Championship, while McLaren is just one point up on Porsche in the Manufacturers’ Championship, as Porsche seeks its second consecutive title.

***Rob Morgan has joined the PWC staff as its new GT Class Business Manager. The former NASCAR driver sold the racing division of TruSpeed Motorcars to Tyler Tadevic last year. Morgan takes a similar position as Jim Jordan, who was brought on board in August to oversee the management of the TC classes.

***Sunday’s Sprint season finale will mark the final race for the Acura TLX GT, following a successful two-plus year run that’s delivered three overall victories, all coming with Ryan Eversley. A total of three chassis were built, with one expected to go into the Honda museum in California and another to remain with RealTime Racing. There are no plans to race the car elsewhere.

***While GMG is giving the car its North American debut this weekend, a significant number of Porsche Cayman Clubsport GT4 MRs are set to arrive on U.S. shores by the end of the month. Porsche Motorsport North America President Jens Walther told Sportscar365 they have a total of 12 cars ordered, with an active effort to get between three to five more cars in the allocation due to the high demand.

***Porsche will complete only a single-year production run for the Cayman GT4 road car and Clubsport race car. Walther said a total of 420 race cars have been produced worldwide. The base Clubsports, however, are able to be upgraded to SRO GT4 specification with the Manthey Racing-developed kit.

***Stephane Ratel is back in the PWC paddock for the first time since Lime Rock Park in May. Date clashes with the Blancpain GT Series prevented the SRO Motorsports Group boss from attending races since.

***Ratel said the success of the PWC TC categories will not see his SRO Motorsports Group taking on the promotion of touring car championships. “In Europe, our standalone events are full. Creating another formula is not necessary,” he told Sportscar365.

***Plans are still in place for the Intercontinental GT Challenge to expand to a fifth round in South Africa, at the Kyalami circuit, in 2018. “We spoke to them and we agreed we’ll speak for 2018, but the intention is definitely there,” Ratel said.

***After its foray into SprintX competition, DXDT Racing is planning a PWC GT class program next year, with a to-be-determined GT3 car. The team is also expected to take part in selected IMSA GTD races. “We really want to support the PWC paddock and that’s why we’re here this weekend,” technical director Erik Petersen told Sportscar365.

***The team’s No. 10 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo is being driven by ex-Formula One driver Enrique Bernoldi and Jeff Burton, not of NASCAR fame. Burton, 58, is a former MLB player, having played for the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburg Pirates in the 1980s.

***At least one of DXDT’s cars running this weekend will be at the Lamborghini World Final in Valencia in December. All Super Trofeo North America cars will depart for Spain via sea freight out of Port Elizabeth, NJ at the end of the month.

***Newly crowned IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype champion Dane Cameron, as well as Andy Lally, have been among the drivers spotted in the paddock this weekend that are not racing. It’s understood Lally is on the lookout for a ride in 2017, with the future of Magnus Racing uncertain.

***The title-deciding round for the Sprint GT/GTA/GT Cup classes gets underway Sunday at 1:05 p.m. PT (4:05 p.m. ET), with live coverage on Motor Trend on Demand, as well as The race will air Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network, with the SprintX action set for Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. ET, also on CBSSN.

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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