Daytona Wednesday Notebook

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

***All 49 cars taking part in this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona assembled for a group photo on Wednesday. This year’s edition of the race marks the largest field since 2018 when a 50-car grid was present. 

***Teams remained on-site Monday and Tuesday with the garages open to competitors following the Roar Before the Rolex 24. There was a snafu with the entry procedure, however, on Monday, with a software-related issue that IMSA has since apologized for.

***IMSA released on Monday the entry list for the Rolex 24, featuring no changes since the Roar. Of note, Mathieu Jaminet, who contracted COVID-19 following the 24 Hours of Dubai, has been replaced by Sven Mueller in the No. 51 RWR-Eurasia Ligier JS P217 Gibson.

***While not yet on the list, Stevan McAleer has been confirmed as the fourth driver in the No. 6 Muehlner Motorsports Duqueine D08 Nissan alongside Kenton Koch and class pole-sitters Moritz Kranz and Laurens Hoerr. It will mark McAleer’s Rolex 24 debut.

***All LMP3 cars will have to undergo a mandatory eight-minute technical pit stop sometime in the first 22 hours of the race. The stop, which is aimed to provide teams with extended servicing, such a brake change, can be performed while under full-course cautions.

***A similar mandatory stop has been implemented in the Total 24 Hours of Spa in recent years.

***IMSA has permitted LMP3 teams to insulate coil electric wires with four different sleeve options. This provision, confirmed in a technical bulletin, is valid for the Rolex 24-only.

***Team Hardpoint EBM co-owner Earl Bamber told Sportscar365 that the “hope” is for Katherine Legge and Christina Nielsen to complete the season in a second Porsche 911 GT3 R but a deal has yet to be reached. “Obviously as a team that’s what we want to work towards but a lot of balls have to fall into place,” the Kiwi said.

***Bamber said his arrival as an owner/driver in the team will help elevate the operation to adopt similar protocols that had been engrained in the now-defunct Porsche factory GTLM program.

“The main thing is that it’s a new team, just like anything, trying to bring prior experience to the table and implement some of the things we had at the factory level into customer racing is what we’re working on the most right now,” he said.

***The Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 cars are carrying Acura Type S graphics this year as part of a cross-promotion around the upcoming Acura TLX and MDX Type S production vehicles that will launch later this year.

***Both the TLX and MDX will be powered by turbocharged V6 engines, similar to the production-based powerplant in the Acura DPi.

***Magnus with Archangel has unveiled its traditional Rolex 24 poster, titled “Rolex Racer” in ode to the “Speed Racer” media franchise that also sees a grey, white and red livery on its No. 44 Acura NSX GT3 Evo dubbed “Mach 44” for the WeatherTech Championship season.

***Andy Lally is recovering from off-season ACL surgery and further complications that has resulted the Magnus driver switching to left-foot braking. Lally is making his Acura debut in Magnus’ third different GT3 car in four years.

***IMSA announced Wednesday the international TV and streaming coverage plan for the Rolex 24, building on its domestic partnership with NBC Sports that will provide full flag-to-flag coverage across its various platforms this weekend.

***Both live and tape-delayed WeatherTech Championship races will run all season on the Discovery Velocity network. In addition, TSN will air tape-delayed, one-hour “cutdown” telecasts from events as well as potentially adding Michelin Pilot Challenge and Mazda MX-5 Cup content.

***Germany’s Motorvision, as well as Romanian and Turkish broadcast networks will now offer WeatherTech Championship content. French exposure also grows with the addition of AutoMoto. Portuguese and Polish fans will have live coverage of the Rolex 24 as well as additional select races throughout the season.

***IMSA now reaches into the Scandinavian territories as well for 2021 with the addition of the Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT), including Finland, Norway and Sweden.

***IMSA.tv will continue to offer live streaming coverage to territories not covered by existing agreements, featuring the international television feed and commentary from the IMSA Radio of John Hindhaugh, Jeremy Shaw, Shea Adam and Brian Till.

***The American Forces Network (AFN), meanwhile, has renewed its WeatherTech Championship agreement to bring action to 500,000 troops serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. AFN is available in 174 territories and on 140 ships around the world.

***The Brumos Collection, a museum featuring dozens of noteworthy cars from Brumos Racings’ history as well as other vehicles, reopened in Jacksonville, Fla. last week (pictured below). Team Hardpoint EBM drivers Bamber, Rob Ferriol, Legge, and Nielsen toured the museum on Tuesday, guided by Brumos Racing legend Hurley Haywood.

***Six of Brumos’ most significant cars will be on display and do honorary laps of Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, while The Brumos Collection founder Dan Davis has been named the honorary starter.

***The cars that will take honorary laps are:
•1971 914-6 GT IMSA Championship winner (driven by Ray Shaffer) 
•1975 911 RSR (driven by Hurley Haywood) 
•1979 935: the last race car driven by Peter Gregg (driven by Andrew Davis)
•2009 Daytona 24-winning Porsche Riley DP (driven by David Donohue)
•2011 Grand-Am GT championship-winning Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (driven by Leh Keen)
•2017 Porsche 911 RSR (driven by Earl Bamber)

***A three-volume history of Brumos Racing authored by Sean Cridland is expected to be announced later this year. Cridland co-authored the 2018 book “Hurley: From The Beginning” with the Porsche icon.

Photo: Ryan Myrehn

Ryan Myrehn contributed to this report

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