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Continental Tire Detroit Post-Race Notebook

Ryan Myrehn’s Continental Tire post-race notebook from Detroit’s Belle Isle…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

***General Motors’ stranglehold on endurance sports car racing at Belle Isle continued over the weekend. The win for Action Express Racing extended GM’s streak of consecutive overall wins in the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic to seven, split between the Chevrolet and Cadillac brands. It also ensured that GM has at least a class win in every ALMS/Grand-Am/IMSA race at Belle Isle since the event began in 2007.

***Saturday’s win by Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran, Nasr’s first in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, brought the Prototype championship battle to a dead heat between that pair and their Action Express Racing teammates Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque.

***The title picture changed dramatically when Albuquerque dropped from fourth to sixth on the last lap as the No. 5 Cadillac DPi-V.R coasted across the finish line on fumes.

***Both AXR pairings left Detroit with 144 points, 14 more than Acura Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor and Wayne Taylor Racing’s Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande, who are tied at 130.

***Cadillac has a 167-155 advantage in the Prototype manufacturer’s championship over Acura. Nissan (153) and Mazda (150) are third and fourth.

***A year has passed since WTR’s most recent win which came last year in Detroit. That win was their fifth consecutive to start the 2017 campaign. Last year’s WeatherTech Championship Prototype class champions have recorded four podium finishes since that last win, and current drivers Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande are fourth in the championship leaving Detroit.

***Curran and Nasr’s win marked the 10th WeatherTech Championship win for the Cadillac DPi-V.R. After WTR won the first five races for car last year, AXR has won the last five with the No. 5 car holding a 3-2 edge in wins over the sister No. 31 entry.

***Detroit marked the second consecutive race that both Acura Team Penske cars finished on the podium. The team had yet to score a single podium finish prior to their 1-2 result at Mid-Ohio last month.

***CORE autosport elect to triple stint its tires, with Jon Bennett finishing the 100-minute race on the same Continental rubber that the team started with on its Oreca 07 Gibson.

***Meyer Shank Racing’s 1-2 finish in GT Daytona marked the first time the Ohio-based team has swept the top two steps of the podium in its 23-year history.

***To do it, MSR employed the same strategy of only changing left-side tires during their stops that netted Katherine Legge and Andy Lally the first IMSA win for the Acura NSX GT3 in 2017. This year, the time saved on the stop allowed both the Nos. 86 and 93 Acuras to leapfrog the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 that had led the early portion of the race to bring home the historic result.

***The win was the third podium in four races for Legge and the No. 86 team, while Lawson Aschenbach and Justin Marks secured their first podium result of the season for the No. 93 crew.

***Paul Miller Racing’s Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow secured their fourth podium in as many WeatherTech Championship starts with their third-place result at Detroit, doubling their podium finishes from the entire 2017 season.

***Despite having no finishes worse than third, Sellers and Snow have seen their points lead trimmed down to just three tallies over Katherine Legge, who now sits in sole possession of second place. Legge has a pair of runner-up finishes on the season to go along with the win at Detroit.

***Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen are a distant third in the GTD standings. The Riley Motorsports drivers are 17 points out of the class lead leaving the Detroit Grand Prix.

***The track record for fastest race lap was reset in both classes on Saturday. Felipe Nasr’s fast lap of 1:21.637 is the new Prototype mark, while Mercedes legend Bernd Schneider set the benchmark for GTD in the No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3.

***The race was the first on American soil for Schneider since the 1998 FIA GT Championship season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, a race in which he finished second driving a Mercedes-Benz CLK LM alongside Mark Webber.

***Robby Foley finished seventh in his GTD debut with Turner Motorsport driving alongside BMW veteran Bill Auberlen. Foley had previously tested with the team at Watkins Glen last month.

***Don Yount and Dillon Machavern will all re-join Turner alongside 2014 GTD Championship winner Markus Palttala behind the wheel of the No. 96 BMW for the next race at Watkins Glen, with Auberlen moving back to BMW Team RLL as a third driver for the race.

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is the lead announcer for SRO America's TV coverage as well as a pit reporter for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.


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