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VIR Weekend Notebook

Check out Ryan Myrehn’s Pirelli World Challenge weekend notebook from VIR…

Photo: Brian Cleary/PWC

***The No. 11 Precision Driving Ferrari 458 Challenge GT Cup entry of Marko Radisic and David Roberts has been withdrawn following Roberts’ heavy crash in testing on Thursday. Roberts emerged without injury after the car got airborne and took a dramatic tumble, ending the weekend for that entry.

***Undeterred, Roberts has continued to drive the team’s BMW M4 GT4 entry in GTS Am this weekend and will drive the second stint in Race 1 this afternoon.

***Ryan Eversley is pulling double duty this weekend, again splitting his time between the Case-It Racing by Flying Lizard Audi R8 LMS GT4 with Adam Merzon and also driving one of RealTime Racing’s Honda Civic Type-R TCR cars.

***Eversley is now the only driver racing in multiple classes following the withdrawal of the Precision Driving GT Cup entry for Radisic and Roberts.

***Several other teams have had to make repairs following barrier contact this weekend. The No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 was patched up after suffering damage on Thursday. TruSpeed, meanwhile, was forced to replace the rear wing on the No. 71 Audi R8 LMS when Dore Chaponick backed into a tire barrier but escaped further damage.

***DXDT Racing has moved to a backup Lamborghini Huracan GT3 chassis in between Practice 1 and Practice 2 on Friday due to a heavy accident for Larry De George, who was unhurt.

***Compass Racing was forced to miss qualifying for this afternoon’s GTS race as it completes an engine change on the No. 78 McLaren 570S GT4. The team has been working on it ever since the problem was discovered late in the day on Friday.

***Paul Holton said very little of what he learned racing the McLaren at VIR with Compass Racing in IMSA competition last year applies due to the differences in the tires. “The front-to-rear balance, the way we set up the car, it’s all the complete opposite,” he told Sportscar365.

***Compass has recently expanded its operations to the west coast, with the Toronto-based organization opening a base in southern California for restorations and modifications to air-cooled Porsches, as well as region-specific racing programs.

“I started my racing career in a Porsche, and it’s exciting to open a new chapter for Compass Racing,” said team principal Karl Thomson. “We have the opportunity to work with a tremendously talented automotive designer who shares my vision for vintage 911s, and having a presence in SoCal makes a lot of sense for us.”

***CRP Racing’s Daniel Morad said the electrical gremlins that likely cost him a podium result at Long Beach have been identified and remedied.

***Morad’s co-driver Fabian Schiller, who impressed as a last-minute call up in the first SprintX round at Circuit of The Americas last month, said he feels much more prepared this time around with several weeks to prepare and no visa issues to deal with.

***Morad credited the team’s decision to take a gamble on setup for his pole-winning, track record run. “We made one set up change just before qualifying based on the conditions,” he said. “We knew the pace was going to be really high today, so we took a risk and it paid off. We’re in the best place in the house to start. We’ll see if we can repeat our win from last year.”

***Several GT3 cars have different weight and power configurations since Long Beach. The Ferrari 488 GT3 is 5kg lighter and has a revised turbo boost curve, with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 getting 5kg of additional weight and an adjusted lambda, and a 10kg increase for the Bentley Continental GT3, which has less mid-range boost.

***VIR is the first Category B track of the season in the SRO’s variable BoP system, which is divided between Categories A, B, C, D and H (high-altitude, for Utah Motorsports Campus).

***The Category B BoP for GTS, meanwhile, sees changes across the board since its last round at Circuit of The Americas, which falls under Category C. The majority of GT4-spec cars this weekend are running lighter than at COTA.

***Corey Lewis returns to the site of his first career IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win, having teamed with Jeroen Mul for GT Daytona class honors in Change Racing’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Lewis has since claimed victory in last month’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, also in a Lamborghini.

***Lewis is driving alongside Alec Udell for GMG Racing. The seat was available because GMG’s typical SprintX driver Mathieu Jaminet had a prior commitment in ADAC GT Masters, in which he finished on the podium in Race 1 on Saturday.

***It’s understood that TRG, which is entering a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR for Derek DeBoer and Sean Gibbons this weekend, will not be returning to the Aston Martin Racing Festival event that serves as the prelude to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. TRG won the GT4 category and finished second in the GT3 class in the event in 2015, the last time Aston Martin was the featured marque at Le Mans.

***Watch the first GT SprintX race of the weekend at 2:25 p.m. EDT, followed by the GTS SprintX round at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live streaming available on CBS Sports Network will air the GT races on May 6 at 6 p.m. EDT and GTS on May 9 at 8 p.m. EDT.

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 the lead announcer for SRO America's TV coverage as well as a pit reporter for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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