***The major talking point heading into this race weekend has been a revised series Balance of Performance, Appendix A 95-revised, which was released Tuesday (September 8). In that update, in GT, the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 received a 15 kg minimum weight reduction, and the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 received increased boost of 0.2 bar (20 millibar), which had been taken off prior to Sonoma.
***Per the series’ VTS Appendix A Rule Change Process, this revised BoP was issued after the standard deadline of Monday before a race weekend. Rule 4.2 of Appendix A states: “The final Appendix A must be released one week before the race event on Monday.” All requests for change must be submitted three weeks prior to the race event, per Rule 2.0 of Appendix A.
***The BoP change has caused some consternation in the paddock, with a heated team manager meeting occurring on Thursday regarding the change. Per the series, the revised BoP was intended for Friday release, but was held up due to both the volume of data and the holiday.
***A series statement issued to Sportscar365 regarding Appendix A 95-revised reads: “The series began evaluating data from Nissan and Ferrari three weeks ago. Due to the volume of data received, it took longer than expected to create and approve the Appendix A 95-revised change.”
***Ferrari is bolstering its lineup for this race with NGT Motorsport running pro drivers Alessandro Pier Guidi and Alessandro Balzan in the Nos. 29 and 30 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3s this weekend. The team moves up from GTA to GT for this race per the different driver classifications.
***Dane Cameron makes his World Challenge return in Turner Motorsport’s No. 95 BMW Z4 GT3, as a late replacement for Bill Ziegler. Cameron tested the car on Thursday and was confirmed on Friday for his first start in the series since St. Petersburg, 2014.
***The new KTM X-BOW GT4, announced by ANSA Motorsports last week for GTS next season, is on display in the paddock this weekend (pictured above).
***One notable other new thing in the paddock spotted this weekend is ex-INDYCAR president of competition and operations Derrick Walker, who told Sportscar365 he was “just scoping around.” Walker has not formalized any role for either he or his Walker Racing team, whose stint running the Team Falken Tire TUDOR Championship program will end in two races.
***Ryan Dalziel returns to EFFORT Racing after missing the Sonoma weekend due to his FIA World Endurance Championship commitments at the Nürburgring. Although EFFORT announced its 2016 two-car program with the new Porsche 911 GT3-R earlier this week, the team has not announced its driver lineup.
***While listed on the entry list, Nick Catsburg won’t be at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend. Catsburg has a commitment in the World Touring Car Championship in Japan.
***Tim Pappas will make his final World Challenge start before his Black Swan Racing shifts to the TUDOR Championship. Pappas brings out the No. 54 Dodge Viper GT3-R for the first time since Road America.
***Jon Fogarty’s laps Thursday in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Hyundai Genesis coupe were his first ever in the car, after Jeff Harrison handled the car’s shakedown and race debut two weeks ago in Sonoma.
***Some five Maserati GranTurismos have been added to GTS, driven by Vafa Kordestani, Jeff Courtney, Patrick Byrne, Freddie Hunt and Derek Hill. The latter two, Hunt and Hill, are sons of past World Champions James Hunt and Phil Hill respectively.
***With September serving as Prostate Cancer Awareness month, more than 70 of the 110-plus cars across all classes have a #Racing4ProstateCancer ribbon decal on their cars. Touring Car B-spec driver Johan Schwartz and wife Karen asked the paddock to show support; Schwartz has used the season to raise awareness.