All images courtesy imsa.com
The IMSA Chevrolet SportsCar Classic is a “must attend” for drivers and teams because it is in the American auto world’s backyard. The race is on the 2.36 mile Detroit Belle Isle road course and was run in conjunction with IndyCar’s Detroit Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix. Unlike most forms of racing, there is no set number of laps that comprise the race. Instead, the race is timed and whoever is in the lead after the allotted one hour and 40 minutes is the winner. Three out of the four WeatherTech Championship classes competed at the event-Prototype with ten entries, Prototype Challenge with three, and GT Daytona with 15 entries.
Taylor Brothers Keep Streak Alive
Brothers Jordan and Ricky have been on a tear in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship of late. Prior to this weekend’s SportsCar Classic at Detroit Belle Isle Park, they’d won four races in a row and were sitting atop the series championship points standings. The duo kept their streak alive this past weekend by piloting their Number 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac Dpi-V.R to another win after a 12th place start.
Ricky started the race and had moved through the field up to fifth place when the race’s first caution came out at the 26-minute mark. Ricky took the number 10 car to the pits where younger brother Jordan took over. Pit strategy helped Jordan overtake race leader Dane Cameron in his number 31 Cadillac Dpi-V.R with 21 minutes remaining when Cameron pitted from the lead. Jordan never looked back and was leading the field when the 100-minute clock expired, giving the brothers their fifth straight victory and solidifying their hold on the points lead.
Poor Qualifying Attempt Didn’t Negatively Impact the Team’s Performance
Older brother Ricky qualified the car in the 12th position. “I almost ruined it yesterday with my mistake in qualifying,in” he said. “The car was in a million pieces and we were starting from the back. I thought today was just going to be a points day and just finish in the top three or four. This one was earned by the team, staying up past midnight and giving us an unbelievable car today.” The team didn’t just do excellent work overnight getting the car ready for the race they were almost flawless in the pits and helped the brothers gain positions on pit road.
When Ricky pitted from fifth under caution, Jordan came out in third. With 43 minutes remaining, Jordan made his final green flag stop from third and the team was able to get him out in second. The adjustments that were done during that stop allowed Jordan to click off the race’s fastest laps which easily allowed him to easily take the lead when Cameron came in to pit.
Two Cadillacs and a Mazda on the Podium
Cameron and co-driver Eric Curran were able to hold off a challenge from the number 70 Mazda Motorsports Mazda Dpi of Joel Miller and Tom Long to come in second place, finishing 4.948 seconds behind the Taylor brothers. Miller and Long earned their first podium of the year.
The next WeatherTech Championship race is the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen at legendary Watkins Glen International which will be held on July 2nd. This Six Hours represents the third rounof the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup and will feature all four WeatherTech Championship classes.