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2019 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship Season Discussion

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2019 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship Season Discussion

Old 01-10-2019, 10:33 PM
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Acura Reveals Retro Liveries for Penske DPis



Pretty cool throwbacks look for Team Penske



Ford unveils historic Rolex 24 GT liveries


Ford Performance and Chip Ganassi Racing will reach back to IMSA’s fabled 1980s era with the No. 66 GT, and pay homage to sponsor Castrol with the No. 67 GT for the upcoming Rolex 24 At Daytona.







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Old 01-11-2019, 08:26 PM
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Pretty serendipitous for the LMP2 body to have the rear fender match the swoop with the old Acura livery.

As iconic as the Renown Charge livery is, I'd like Mazda to bring back the blue and white. It'd make a nice change from all the red and black already out on the track.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:43 AM
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IMSA teams still waiting on Balance-of-Performance rulings ahead of Rolex 24 at Daytona

Mazda was 1-2 on the speed chart at recent Roar Before the Rolex 24



“We trust the system,” said Mazda race director John Doonan, when Autoweek asked him about whether he was worried about getting penalized after both his Mazda Prototypes were the fastest two cars at the recent Roar Before the Rolex 24, the mandatory test that precedes the Rolex 24 at Daytona the last weekend in January.

It is unclear whether a mildly revised Balance of Performance system that is now being used by the IMSA sanctioning body will make the manufacturers trust the system more or less. IMSA hopes more.

Balance of Performance, or BoP, slows down or speeds up manufacturers’ cars -- all of them, not just individual teams -- by adding or subtracting weight, or downforce, or refueling times or capacities, or other methods when IMSA determines that the playing field needs leveling. That’s why some manufacturers are wary of showing all their cards before the actual race.
Data supplied by the carmakers themselves, in conjunction with data generated by IMSA, will determine whether a car needs BoP-ing, with a maximum adjustment of 20 kg, and adding or subtracting 3 percent of its power.

This year, testing, and not the final races of 2017, will form the basis for BoP changes for Daytona alone.

The end result, however, will be the same: slower cars will be sped up, and faster cars slowed down, so long as IMSA determines that the data being used are genuine, and not artificial.

BoP is needed in IMSA because the cars are not essentially all the same as they are in NASCAR or IndyCar. The Mazdas, for instance, use small turbocharged four-cylinders, while the Cadillac Prototypes are naturally aspirated V-8s.
I'm really hoping that Mazda doesn't get completely destroyed with the incoming BoP changes. I get that they were fast but IMSA also has to know teams don't show all their hands at the Roar so just let them race.
If anything, maybe a fuel window adjustment but if they add weight or drop the boost / RPM that could be troublesome, especially in such a long race.

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Old 01-16-2019, 08:46 PM
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great news!IMSA releases Rolex BoP changes




IMSA has revealed a significant surprise with its Balance of Performance adjustments for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship field ahead of next week’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. In DPi, LMP2, and GT Le Mans, no meaningful changes have been made.

Barring minor fuel capacity alterations to align stint lengths for the DPi Acuras, Cadillacs, Mazdas, and the lone Nissan, IMSA chose to leave horsepower output, minimum weight, and the rest of its BoP manipulation options alone following the January 4-6 Roar Before The 24 test at Daytona.

The lack of change to the DPi class suggests IMSA felt slowing down the Roar-leading Mazdas, or elevating the pace of the other brands was not required based on testing data it captured throughout the event. The same is true for GTLM.

GT Daytona is the only category where BoP changes, other than fuel capacity, were made to multiple models.

On the topic of adding or removing performance for the sake adjusting the lap time gaps among the classes, DPi, LMP2, GTLM, and GT Daytona have been left untouched.
DPi BoP Changes
  • Acura ARX-05: Reduction of fuel capacity by of two liters, now 76L.
  • Cadillac DPi-V.R: Reduction of fuel capacity by one liter, now 70L.
  • Mazda RT24-P: Reduction of fuel capacity by two liters, now 79L. Clarification on rear wing angle allowance for the race that is no different from what was used at the Roar.
  • Nissan Onroak DPi: No changes.
GTLM BoP Changes
BMW M8 GTE: Increase of fuel capacity by two liters, now 90L.

GTD BoP Changes
  • Acura NSX GT3: Reduction of fuel capacity by three liters, now 105L.
  • BMW M6 GT3: Reduction of weight by 15 kilos, now 1290KG.
  • Lamborghini Huracan GT3: Increase in air restrictor flow to engine by one millimeter, now 39.0mm. Increase of fuel capacity by two liters, now 97L.
  • Porsche 911 GT3 R: Increase of fuel capacity by three liters, now 93L.

Given there's hardly any changes to the DPi class (and more importantly, Mazda) I think there's a LEGIT chance of seeing the all time lap record broken at Daytona this year. Obviously in a 24 hour race, it's going to come down to reliability but these cars have the speed to do something special and I for one am glad to see IMSA not tweaking the cars too much. Should make for a fun race!
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:15 PM
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ONE GOAL FOR MAZDA AT 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA




Mazda Team Joest riding momentum of Roar Before the 24 into this year’s endurance classic

IRVINE, Ca. (January 22, 2019) – Mazda RT24-Ps led the way at the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway two weeks ago when drivers Oliver Jarvis and Harry Tincknell set the quickest lap times in the weekend’s qualifying session. Jarvis, Tincknell, and the rest of Mazda Team Joest are seeking a similar result when the checkered flag falls on Sunday for the 57thrunning of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

At the Roar Before the 24, Jarvis’ time of 1:33.398 seconds around the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course in the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P unofficially set the course record and capped a strong weekend for Mazda Team Joest where both Mazda RT24-Ps took turns at the top of the timesheets. Jarvis will share the car with Timo Bernhard, Tristan Nunez, and Rene Rast.

The drivers and crew of Mazda Team Joest have one goal in mind, which is to return Mazda to victory lane at Daytona for the first time since 2010 when a Mazda captured the GT-class. Jonathan Bomarito, who will drive the No. 55 Castrol Mazda RT24-P with Harry Tincknell and Olivier Pla, was part of the driver lineup that took that Castrol-sponsored Mazda RX-8 to victory.

Mazda first captured victory at the Rolex 24 at Daytona 40 years ago, when the new Mazda RX-7 finished first and second in the GTU class and since then, Mazdas have captured twenty-two class victories at Daytona.

The qualifying session for the Rolex 24 at Daytona will be shown live on NBC Sports on Thursday, January 24 at 3:00 PM EST. Starting at 2:00 PM EST on Saturday, January 26, the Rolex 24 at Daytona will be shown in its entirely on NBC Sports Network and the NBC Sports App.

Quotes
John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports

“In the winter of 1979, I watched the television highlights of the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the racing debut of the Mazda RX-7. That GTU class win 40 years ago this year marked a very special moment for me personally as my bond with the Mazda brand began. To achieve that victory in 1979 was an incredible effort made by Mazda engineers around the globe, and was a clear example of our brand’s challenger spirit. As we have prepared for the 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona, there has been an equally massive effort by our team and partners with the sole focus of having success for Mazda, our fans, dealers, and employees worldwide. The results from the Roar Before the 24 were a good way to start the month, and we want nothing more than to end the month in the same positions.”

No. 55 Castrol Mazda RT24-P
Jonathan Bomarito

“I am really excited and optimistic about this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. We have been preparing extensively over the short off-season and ended 2018 with a double podium, so we have continued that momentum into 2019. I have been with Mazda for a long time now and this is the best I’ve felt going into Daytona for quite some time. With it being IMSA’s 50th anniversary, winning overall for Mazda would be a dream come true!”

Olivier Pla
“After a very positive test at the Roar Before the 24, we are going to Daytona knowing we have a very quick car to fight for the top position. It will be the 50th anniversary of IMSA, and Mazda has scored 22 class wins in Daytona, and I think all of the Mazda drivers will put their heart into the battle and will push to the limit to get Mazda back into victory lane in Daytona.”

Harry Tincknell
“I believe this is Mazda’s best chance in recent history to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona outright. Obviously, there have been a huge amount of changes implemented over the winter and it will take time for everything to gel but the Roar Before the 24 showed a brief glimpse of what’s to come for us this season. We were super competitive there, setting the fastest times throughout all three days. We know that pace alone won’t win the race. Daytona is an incredible test of endurance and team work and we have to prove to everyone that we have the full package, but I honestly can’t thank Mazda Team Joest, Multimatic or AER enough for all their hard work over the winter. We will give it everything we have!”


No. 77 Mazda RT24-P
Timo Bernhard
“I have a good feeling going into race week for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. We have a strong package – car, driver and team. But, I’m also sure it will be a tight competition for the top spot, which will be great to watch for all the fans of the 50th anniversary of IMSA. And as always entering these 24-hour races, you need a bit of luck as well. All of Mazda Team Joest and the partners involved in this program have worked very hard to enter two competitive cars. Let’s get the success that they all deserve!”

Oliver Jarvis
“I am definitely heading into this year with a lot more optimism than last. I have always had 100% faith in Mazda Team Joest, but last year we were definitely not where we wanted to be. We continue to learn and progress but having had a year of working together and constantly improving not only reliability, but also performance, I think we head into this year’s race knowing we have a package capable of fighting for the win. It’s fantastic to be working again with Tristan, we had such a great relationship last year both on and off the track with his undoubted speed, I hope we can add some wins to the podiums we achieved last year! I would relish the chance to try and officially beat the lap record and start the Rolex 24 at Daytona from pole position.”

Tristan Nunez
“I can’t explain how excited I am to be going to the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Daytona is always a special event, but with how the team has been working together and the success that we had at the Roar Before the 24, I’m really looking forward to getting into the race with our Mazda RT24-P. The car is working great, I am fortunate to have great co-drivers, and the team has really done an outstanding job.”

Rene Rast
“I can’t wait till the flag drops on Saturday morning and we can finally start racing. The whole project has taken a massive step forward since last year and our Mazda RT24-P looks very competitive this year. The pace we had during the Roar Before the 24 looks promising and we all hope that we can continue where we ended up in the qualifying session. The main objective is to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona overall. The whole team has put a lot of work and effort into this project and I could really feel a great team spirit during the test. It would be a tremendous feeling to win at Daytona during the 50th Anniversary of IMSA, but we all need to stay focused and avoid any kind of mistakes.”
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:35 PM
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Hell yes!

Bomarito Quickest in Practice 2 at Daytona



Jonathan Bomarito showed the pace in the first fully dry running of the Rolex 24 weekend in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Practice 2 at Daytona.

The American, driving the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P, was a full 0.711 seconds faster than second place Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. Colin Braun checked in with the third fastest time, set early in the session, in the No. 54 CORE autosport Nissan Onroak DPi.

Ricky Taylor and Agustin Canapino completed the top five for Acura Team Penske and Juncos Racing, respectively.

In LMP2, a late flier from James Allen put the No. 81 DragonSpeed Oreca 07 Gibson at the head of the four-car class by 0.257 seconds over Gabriel Aubry in the No. 52 from PR1/Mathiasen.

Nick Tandy was quickest in the GT Le Mans class in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, followed by the No. 3 Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen and the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe.

Daniel Serra turned in the fastest lap in GT Daytona in the No. 51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3, while Trent Hindman and Ben Keating completed the top three in class for Meyer Shank Racing and Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports, respectively.

There were no major incidents. Qualifying is up next at 3:35 p.m. ET.
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Old 01-24-2019, 02:12 PM
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Good news indeed! About a second slower than the best Roar time but also not in qualifying trim either. The weather for the weekend is supposed to be pretty fantastic as well with a high of 58 Saturday and upper 40's overnight, boost weather for sure.
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Old 01-24-2019, 02:37 PM
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that's perfect boost weather! I don't think any of the cars wanted to show all their cards during practice which is probably why the 77 car was a few seconds behind the 55.

I really do get the feeling we will finally see that lap record broken and I'm hoping when the qualifying session is over, that it's Mazda who reigns supreme.



damn, that's a stunning looking car





Hmmm.... that brings us to an interesting question: are both cars runnign the same livery for once? Mazda has traditionally differentiated their cars in competition as shown the last few years with the two cars running Soul Red Crystal and Machine Gray trims.
are they both rocking the SRC now?
I'll have to go looking for pictures of the 77 car...
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Old 01-24-2019, 03:55 PM
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BOOM!!!!!

Jarvis Takes Rolex 24 Pole with Record Lap



Oliver Jarvis broke the Daytona International Speedway lap record to clinch pole position for the Rolex 24.

The Englishman, driving the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P, went to the top of the timing screens early in the prototype qualifying session before shaving his best effort down to a 1:33.685.

This was two tenths quicker than the previous record around the Daytona infield course set by P.J. Jones with a GTP-class Toyota Eagle in 1993.

Jarvis will be joined on the front row of the grid for this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship opener by Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05.

Taylor interrupted a Joest 1-2 held by Jarvis and Jonathan Bomarito, before his Penske team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya jumped up to third shortly before the checkered flag.

Montoya, who was qualifying the Acura DPi for the first time, recovered from an early lock-up that ruined one of his opening flyers.

Bomarito’s time of 1:34.212 held as the fourth-best, while Felipe Nasr steered the highest-placed Cadillac DPi-V.R to fifth on the grid.

Sixth was Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac, ahead of Juncos Racing’s Agustin Canapino.

They were followed by the JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillacs driven by Tristan Vautier and Stephen Simpson, while Jon Bennett propped up the field in the CORE autosport Nissan DPi.

In LMP2, James Allen took pole in the No. 81 DragonSpeed Oreca 07 Gibson, recording a time half a second quicker than PR1/Mathiasen’s Gabriel Aubry.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
Daytona 24 Qualifying.pdf (297.7 KB, 7 views)

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Old 01-26-2019, 12:21 PM
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We're finally here, it's RACE DAY!!!

anyone else tuning in for the race? I've got the DVR set and hoping to keep seeing the speed that Mazda has shown recently. I think the Acura's also have a ton of speed so they'll be the guys to keep an eye on.
Cadillac claims they don't have the speed to run with Mazda and Acura but I'm not buying it, those guys have great cars and I expect them to be challenging the entire time.
Obviously in a 24 hour race anything can happen so it should be fun!
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:13 PM
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77 just came in to pit and the announcers said something interesting:

The 77 has led EVERY lap thus far in this race.
That's incredible considering last season it didn't ever lead a single lap during the year.


Go Mazda!
It's early but they have the speed and hopefully the team to do well in this race. They key is keeping the car clean and obviously having the reliability to keep the car out on the track.
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:29 PM
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Cadillac doesn't have the speed, my ***!
Felipe Albuquerque has already reeled off a 1:35.1
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Old 01-26-2019, 06:20 PM
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Just saw the 55 get a spin from Legge in MSR NSX. It had trouble getting going after that and exiting the pit stop. Clutch issue?
77 still running strong in 3rd and delivering the Penske vs Joest fight we wanted last year.
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:28 PM
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damn it!!!!
that was devastating for Mazda Team Joest

55 gets electrical issues / fuel problem and minutes later the 77 catches on fire!
makes you wonder if it's the same issue on both cars.
damn it
game over for us
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:36 PM
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Looks like the #10 Caddy team is walking away with the early lead.
They seem to be able to go further on a tank of fuel.

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Old 01-26-2019, 08:38 PM
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I have supper and come back to see 77 having to be towed back to the garage. The team say turbo failure and a fuel leak was plaguing 55.
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:45 PM
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bladecutter: yeah, the #10 is running really strong. They were bitching ever since the Roar that they didn't have the speed and power to run with Acura and Mazda. BULLSHIT, I knew it. That car has tons of speed in it still.

j_tso: yup, 55 and 77 went out within minutes of each other. really sucks because it appears to be the same issue that hit both cars.
#77 has now officially been ruled out.
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:02 PM
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It was certainly a heart dropping moment when both cars went out.

Fingers remain crossed for the #55 now that the #77 is officially out.
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:12 PM
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absolutely.
this one hurt because the car was running SOOOO well.
it was a kick in the nuts to see them both go down like that because I think a lot of us thought this could be the year and this could be the race that kicks it all off.

55 seems to have made up a lap already so I'm still watching and cheering them on.
Hoping they can make a strong finish and you never know what could happen in the next 16 hours, especially with rain in the forecast.
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Old 01-26-2019, 10:09 PM
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I guess we can realistically expect a good result at Long Beach. 3rd place in 2017 when the car was "garbage" and 4th last year. Of course, there's BoP...
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Old 01-26-2019, 10:10 PM
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I don't think they'll get BoP'd too bad.
#55 is only 1 lap down.
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:45 AM
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4:06 a.m. ET: The ninth full-course caution of the race came out when the No. 55 Mazda DPi stopped in turn three.
Anyone know what happened?

BC.
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:59 AM
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I found some info, and it sounds like suspension damage during a spin:

After Mazda Team Joest worked its way back to the lead lap and fifth position, Olivier Pla encountered another problem in the No.55 Mazda DPi to bring out the event’s ninth full-course caution midway through the hour.
Pla spun in the International Horseshoe, with the car sustaining left-rear suspension damage. It was unknown if contact from behind was a factor in the incident. The car was still in the garage at the end of the hour, now 17 laps down.
https://racer.com/2019/01/27/rolex-24-hour-14-whelen-cadillac-takes-the-lead-as-light-rain-begins/?utm_source=racer&utm_medium=recirc&utm_campaign=r ail-most-popular

Meanwhile, the incident involving the No.55 Mazda of Olivier Pla during the 14th hour was traced to the car suddenly losing power in the infield and being punched from behind.
The damage cost the team 40 laps, falling from a lead-lap fifth to a distant ninth.
https://racer.com/2019/01/27/rolex-2...ms-scrambling/

Team #55 worked their asses off to get back on the lead lap.
Sorry that they couldn't see it through to the checkered flag.

BC.

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Old 01-27-2019, 01:56 PM
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Both Mazdas go out after catching fire and having other issues, after taking the pole and leading the race. . Oh my goodness. Why did these problems not show up in track testing ? Here we go again, very disappointing ! Hope they figure it out and we get the win at Sebring.

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Old 01-27-2019, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by gwilliams6 View Post
Why did these problems not show up in track testing ?
It seems like they don't test for more than a few hours. Perhaps there's a testing rule in IMSA I don't know about, but Porsche and Audi (Joest) did 24 hour tests on their machines before Le Mans. Maybe Mazda did not fund Joest enough to do so.
I know the Daytona 24 is not as prestigious as Le Mans, but I would hope Mazda would put the effort into making a good showing since it's been all DNFs after 2012 with a rotary.
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