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Detroit Friday Notebook

Ryan Myrehn’s Friday Notebook from Detroit’s Belle Isle…

Photo: Brian Cleary/bcpix.com

***Ricky Taylor’s accident in qualifying has left the Wayne Taylor Racing team with a mountain of work to be completed to ensure the No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R will be ready for morning warmup tomorrow, but they expect the car will be ready to run. Ricky Taylor took blame for the incident. “It was my mistake,” Taylor said. “I was pushing hard in qualifying, like usual. The only regret is that it happened early in the session and we didn’t have a backup qualifying lap.”

***The grid for Saturday’s race was set by points, which led to the curious case of the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibson starting ahead of the WTR Cadillac and the No. 90 VisitFlorida Racing Riley Mk. 30 Gibson in the Prototype class, despite the Ligier not turning a lap so far all weekend.

***The PR1/Mathiasen entry still has Tom Kimber-Smith and Jose Gutierrez officially listed on the entry list, but neither driver are here this weekend. Gutierrez, who was not scheduled to do Detroit, is in Le Mans taking part in the Le Mans Test Day with G-Drive Racing. It’s understood Kenton Koch will start the car in Saturday’s race. 

***Daniel Morad’s accident in Practice 1 didn’t result in major damage to the rear of the No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, but it was a setback for a pair of drivers that are making their debuts on the Streets of Belle Isle. Neither Morad nor his co-driver Mathieu Jaminet have past experience at the circuit, and the accident limited their running on Friday. The duo will roll off sixth in class Saturday.

***Jaminet, a Porsche Young Professional Driver, was impressive in his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut at Circuit of The Americas in a late call-up to replace Michael Christensen who was racing in the WEC that weekend. Jaminet had just over a week of lead time ahead of the COTA weekend, and just two weeks to prepare to reprise his role with the team this weekend in Detroit.

***JDC-Miller Motorsports driver Stephen Simpson spent Memorial Day Weekend atop the spotters stand at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway helping guide IndyCar driver JR Hildebrand to a 16th-place result at the Indianapolis 500.

***Tomy Drissi is a busy driver this weekend between his duties in the WeatherTech Championship and the Trans-Am series at Detroit. Drissi will start 2nd in the Prototype Challenge field in the No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09, after the 2009 Trans-Am series champion competes in his Corvette in that series’ race earlier Saturday morning.

***Drissi is making his season debut this weekend, as is his co-driver Bruno Junqueira. The rapid Brazilian indicated he had been trying to put a full season deal together with BAR1 for this year but couldn’t get everything to fall into place. Junqueira said he had stayed in contact with the team throughout the year, and was eager to join up with them when Drissi decided to enter this weekend’s event. The deal was confirmed less than two weeks ago.

***Junqueira added that he is looking to return to the series full-time if the opportunity should present itself. “I’m very happy, I love IMSA,” the ex-IndyCar ace told Sportscar365. “For five years I was full-time and I want to keep being involved.”

***This is the fourth different lineup in as many races in the No. 26 entry. The first three were David Cheng, Trent Hindman, Adam Merzon, Johnny Mowlem, and Tom Papadopoulos (Daytona), Marc Drumwright, Chapman Ducote, Colin Thomspon, and Gustavo Yacaman (Sebring), and Nicholas Boulle and Stefan Wilson (COTA).

***Ryan Lewis is set to join Don Yount this weekend in the No. 20 BAR1 PC class entry replacing Buddy Rice. Rice is also expected to miss the WeatherTech Championship round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, and team owner Brian Alder indicated Lewis is expected to fill in there as well. Lewis also serves as Yount’s driver coach.

***The No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 that was involved in an accident in Practice 1 with Ozz Negri behind the wheel missed Practice 2 but returned to turn a lap in qualifying. Because the MSR crew worked on the car on pit lane during the session, the lap that Jeff Segal completed was removed per IMSA rules. The car will start at the back of the GTD grid for Saturday’s race.

***Team Manager Tim Keene indicated that the team was able to identify the issue that limited the No. 86 car to just a single lap in qualifying and said it will be rectified in time for warmup tomorrow.

***Check out Andy Blackmore’s spotter guide with updated liveries for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Belle Isle. Click Here to download.

***The 100-minute Chevrolet Sports Car Classic is scheduled for 12:40 p.m. ET with live coverage on FS2 starting at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based journalist and sportscaster, covering IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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