COTA Notebook #1
COTA Notebook #1
THE GANG’S ALL HERE. The Lone Star Le Mans, the 11th round of the 2015 TUDOR Championship, is the fifth race of the season that features the series’ four classes competing simultaneously. The 38-car field at the Circuit of the Americas includes nine Prototypes, nine Prototype Challenge cars, eight GT Le Mans entries, and 12 GT Daytona cars. The last time that all four classes competed was at the Road America round in August.
THE FRENCH CONNECTION. The Lone Star Le Mans lives up to its name with five winners and eight podium finishers from this year’s 24-hour French classic in the field. Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber, who shared the Le Mans-winning No. 19 Porsche 919 Hybrid with Nico Hulkenberg, are driving Porsche 911 RSRs fielded by Porsche North America in the Texas event – Tandy in the No. 911 and Bamber in the No. 912. Corvette Racing is fielding the No. 4 Corvette C7.R in GTLM that scored the GTE Pro victory at Le Mans with Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin. Jordan Taylor, the Corvette’s third driver at Le Mans, joins his brother Ricky in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP in the Prototype class in Texas.
Giancarlo Fisichella, who finished third in GTE Pro at Le Mans, is driving the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia with Pierre Kaffer at COTA. Scuderia Corsa drivers Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell placed third in GTE Am in France, and are currently second in the GT Daytona standings with their Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia.
WEIGHT WATCHERS. IMSA, the sanctioning body for the TUDOR Championship, announced adjustments in the Balance of Performance regulations for the Lone Star Le Mans. The Porsche 911 RSR entries that compete in the GT Le Mans class will carry an additional 44 pounds (20 kilograms) for the remainder of the season. The Porsches have prevailed in the last four races, with the No. 17 winning in a wet race in Watkins Glen, and the No. 911 reeling off three straight victories at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Road America, and Virginia International Raceway. In the GT Daytona class, the Dodge Viper GT3R was given a 33 pound (15 kilogram) weight increase and a 3mm larger air restrictor.
JUSTIN WILSON TRIBUTE. Officials, teams, and fans of the TUDOR Championship will celebrate the life of racer Justin Wilson at the Lone Star Le Mans. The gifted British racer lost his life in an IndyCar race at Pocono when he was struck by debris following another competitor’s accident. Michael Shank Racing’s No. 60 Ligier-Honda is carrying special graphics in tribute to Wilson, who drove for the team in endurance events and won the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona. A moment of silence will be observed before the race, and the series is encouraging donations to support the Wilson family at the Wilson Children’s Fund.