IMSA Mid-Ohio Friday notebook

Images by Renger van der Zande, Marshall Pruett

IMSA Mid-Ohio Friday notebook

IMSA

IMSA Mid-Ohio Friday notebook

NEW SPORTS CAR TEAM

Inspired by their shared passion for increased fitness via two-wheeled machines, three of IMSA’s full-time stars have banded together to create an informal cycling club. Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin, Porsche GT Team’s Laurens Vanthoor and Wayne Taylor Racing’s Renger van der Zande have united to add local cycling adventures into their IMSA weekends whenever possible.

The trio kicked off the cycling tour at Long Beach, and plans to include other stops on the WeatherTech Championship calendar involve finding cities where the Rapha Cycling Club service – a monthly fee-based system where cyclists have access to bikes and gear – is nearby.

“It’s a really great thing,” van der Zande told RACER. “Like when we’re in New York for Watkins Glen, we can go and get everything to do a long ride. It’s something we like doing, and we go to a lot of beautiful places to race, which makes getting together for cycling a nice extra thing we can do.”

The unnamed IMSA cycling trio could become a quartet: Mazda Team Joest’s Oliver Jarvis is considering whether to join the club.

NEW NOSE CAM

IMSA hopes to bring a new camera angle into play this weekend. Affixed to the access hatch located above the driver’s feet, van der Zande and teammate Jordan Taylor are testing the camera with their No. 10 WTR Cadillac DPi-V.R during practice, and if all goes well, it will be introduced during Sunday’s broadcast.

Housed within a 3D-printed, aero-profiled housing, the unit also features a GPS transceiver atop the camera.

“It’s cool and something new,” Taylor told RACER.

HOME PARTY

Meyer Shank Racing is using the return of endurance racing to its home track as a perfect opportunity to welcome friends and sponsors to the event from a perfect vantage point. Having rented out the big fourth floor suite, the two-car Acura NSX GT3 entrant will welcome upwards of 300 guests to cheer on Pataskala, Ohio’s finest race team.

“We’ve always wanted to give back to those who have supported us all these years and we wanted to do something in a better style than we did five years ago,” Shank said, referring to MSR’s last visit in 2013 for the Grand-Am race. “Getting the tower allows us to entertain people at a higher level and show our appreciation for years of support.” 

NO LONGER IN THE DPI HUNT

According to multiple sources in the paddock, the significant interest once held by Lexus for IMSA’s Daytona Prototype international class has, unfortunately, subsided.

CAPTAIN’S LAP TIME COMPARO

The fastest lap set on Friday of 1m13.601s by Ricky Taylor in his No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi follows two other interesting data points generated by the Captain’s sports car outfit.

Turning the clock back 10 years to the final visit by Team Penske’s Porsche RS Spyder American Le Mans Series program, its best lap time with the free-range LMP2 machine saw the No. 7 car shared by Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas post a 1m08.208s tour in qualifying, which was only good enough for third on the grid.

On Penske’s last visit to Mid-Ohio with a prototype in 2009 – prior to taking on Acura’s DPi project – at the Grand-Am Rolex Series event, the same driving tandem clocked a 1m19.076s with their Riley XX-Porsche.

Three different cars from three unique prototype formulas, using three different tire brands, spread across 10 years, with a lap time variance of 10.868s.

Let’s see what the ARX-05s can do in qualifying on Saturday to draw down the 5.393s gap to the best Penske’s 2008 RS Spyders produced.

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