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Detroit Post-Race Notebook

Sportscar365’s post-race notebook from Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

***Chip Ganassi Racing claimed back-to-back wins at Belle Isle, as well as a lockout of street races on this year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule, with Renger van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais also victorious at Long Beach.

***It marked van der Zande’s fourth win at Belle Isle, which played host to the series for the final time prior to the event moving to the downtown city streets of Detroit in 2023.

***The victory, Cadillac’s fourth in five years, has put CGR tied with Audi for third in all-time IMSA wins. The race, which ran caution-free for the first time, saw a new distance record of 72 laps (169.2 miles) achieved.

***Bourdais applauded the No. 01 crew for “working really hard” to fix “all of my mishaps” from Friday, which saw the four-time Champ Car champion slam into the wall in qualifying before setting his pole-winning, record-breaking lap.

***The Frenchman added: “It’s been a strong weekend despite, as we talk about, a very unfavorable BoP. When you manage to pull that off on the day, that’s not automatic. I was pushing really, really hard all weekend. We bounced off of walls; we overdrove the car to get where we were both in qualifying and the race.”

***With a runner-up finish, Meyer Shank Racing’s Oliver Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist have retaken the DPi championship lead, with a 10-point gap over the Wayne Taylor Racing pairing of Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque, who were elevated to a fourth place result following the post-race adjustment for the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac of Pipo Derani and Olivier Pla.

***Derani revealed that the Cadillac, which received a 15 kg minimum weight increase prior to the weekend in the latest round of Balance of Performance adjustments, was 2 kg underweight in post-race technical inspection.

***Ricky Taylor, meanwhile, described it as a “rough day” with early race traffic ultimately separating the No. 10 Acura ARX-05 from the leaders before going off-strategy with a two-stop race.  “At the end of the day, we took a chance, and it didn’t pay off,” he said. “You can’t blame anyone for trying to win the race.”

***Kyle Kirkwood overcame a right hand injury from IndyCar practice earlier on Saturday to take his first professional sports car victory alongside Lexus factory driver Ben Barnicoat, who also won in a Lexus RC F GT3 for the first time.

***Barnicoat was subbing for Jack Hawksworth, who is recovering from an undisclosed injury from a motocross accident. The No. 17 Vasser Sullivan GTD entry is not expected for any remaining races this year, with the entry transforming back into GTD Pro guise for the rest of the season.

***Saturday’s class win marked the tenth victory for the Lexus in WeatherTech Championship competition and second in Detroit. Lexus became the 13th manufacturer to win in IMSA this year across the WeatherTech Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge.

***Three qualifying and race lap records were set this weekend. Bourdais set the new DPi mark in qualifying with a 1:18.818. The new DPi race record was clocked at 1:18.877 by Derani. Aaron Telitz broke the GTD race record that had been standing since 2018, with a 1:28.335 lap.

***A third place finish for the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 saw Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow extended their points lead in the WeatherTech Sprint Cup standings, while Korthoff Motorsports’ Stevan McAleer continues to lead the season-long GTD standings.

***It was a race to forget for the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW, which was forced to serve an early race drive-through penalty for changing all four tires following qualifying. A second unscheduled trip to pit lane, for a loose tire, dashed any hopes of a top finish.

***Russell Ward crashed out for the second time in the last three races, slamming his No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo into the wall just past the 30-minute mark. Ward managed to bring the car into a runoff area to prevent a yellow.

***Ward’s accident came after two separate incidents for co-driver Philip Ellis on Friday that resulted in repairs to all four corners of the car for the Texas-based squad. 

***JDC-Miller Motorsports has a two-day test at Watkins Glen scheduled for this week, but only with third driver Loic Duval due to Richard Westbrook and Tristan Vautier competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

***Duval, a Peugeot factory driver, was set to also contest the French endurance classic prior to the French manufacturer’s delayed debut until the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season at Monza in July. 

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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