TUSC: Emilio di Guida, 50, passes away

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American Le Mans Series and GRAND-AM veteran Emilio di Guida has passed away at the age of 50. According to a report from John Dagys of SportsCar365.com, di Guida suffered an apparent heart attack while jogging near his home in Doral, Florida.

Di Guida made six starts last year in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and earned a pair of Top-5 finishes with IndyCar pilot Sebastien Bourdais for 8Star Motorsports – a pair of fifths at Laguna Seca and the season finale at Lime Rock Park.

He also earned two GTC class wins in the 2012 ALMS campaign at Laguna Seca and Mosport.

More recently, he’d tested for 8Star in its Prototype Challenge machine at the Roar Before The Rolex 24 with an eye on competing later this year in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

8Star has paid tribute to him on Twitter this evening:

Our thoughts are with Di Guida’s family and friends at this time.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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