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North American News Notebook: Laguna Seca Loses Mazda Moniker, Karam Loses Lexus Seat

Plus - Corvette full season drivers retained, and an additional gig for Beaux Barfield

Laguna Seca Set To Lose Mazda Moniker

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will become just plain old Laguna Seca once again from April 2018 after the automaker decided to cease their 17 year naming rights association with the iconic Californian circuit.

Karam Not Retained by 3GT for 2018

The returning 3GT Lexus GTD campaign will not feature Sage Karam on the driver roster.

The 2014 Indy Lights Champion featured on several on-track incidents in the 2017 IMSA season and will not be retained for 2018.

3GT have not retained factory status for the coming season and thus far have only confirmed a single car for Jack Hawksworth and David Heinemeier Hansson.

Corvette Retain 2017 Stars

Corvette Racing have confirmed that they will retain their title winning full lesson foursome for the 2018 IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship.

Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen will pilot the #3 Corvette C7.R, and 2016 GTLM champions Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner retain there seats in the sister #4 Corvette.

Barfield Adds IMSA Prototype Challenge To Race Director Duties

Beaux Barfield has been confirmed as race director for the IMSA Prototype Challenge for 2018 with his predecessor Elliott Forbes-Robinson transitioning into an overarching driver observer/advisory role for all IMSA series.

Barfield will also continue to serve as race director for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, a position he has held since 2014.

Kyle Novak continues as race director for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama and Todd Snyder completes the race Control group (Ferrari Challenge North America, Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America) for the 2018 season.

The IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda shifts from its longtime sprint race format of two, 45-minute races per event weekend to a single 1-hour, 45-minute endurance race in 2018.

The series will continue to feature two classes, blending LMP3 prototypes from a variety of constructors with the longstanding, MPC class that uses the Élan DP02 chassis powered by Mazda engines.

The new format will allow teams to run a single or two-driver combination with a required minimum-time pit stop.

The inaugural IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda endurance race at Daytona, during the pre Rolex 24 Hours ‘Roar’ Test weekend will be streamed live on IMSA.com on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 1:25 p.m. ET.