Connect with us

WeatherTech Championship

Detroit Pre-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ pre-race notebook for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Rumors have run rampant over Ford’s possible involvement in a future LMP1 program for the FIA World Endurance Championship, which would see the Detroit automaker join Audi, Toyota, Porsche and Nissan in the top class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ford Racing director Jamie Allison told Sportscar365 Saturday morning in Detroit that “there’s no basis of the rumor for LMP1.” It’s believed, however, that Ford is evaluating a possible LMP2 engine supply program with its EcoBoost powerplant.

***A half-dozen TUDOR United SportsCar Championship drivers competing in today’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic will be jetting off to France to take part in Sunday’s official test day at Circuit de la Sarthe. The list includes pole-sitters Richard Westbrook and Spencer Pumpelly, as well as brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor, Olivier Pla and Seth Neiman. Flying Lizard Motorsports team manager Eric Ingraham and strategist Thomas Blam, as well as OAK Racing team owner Jacques Nicolet are also set to make the trip.

***Dempsey Racing’s Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster are already in France, having elected to skip the Detroit race, while a number of Corvette and Porsche factory drivers are also at Le Mans, as the GTLM class does not compete this weekend. Additionally, series regulars Jeroen Bleekemolen, Cooper MacNeil and Markus Palttala will not be at the test day but will be present for the race.

***A total of 11 Prototypes (DP/P2s combined) will take part in today’s race, compared to 13 DPs that were here for the event last year. Remarkably, only six of the DPs have returned, with teams such as Starworks Motorsport, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, 8Star Motorsports and Team Sahlen, which fielded entries last year, no longer in the prototype ranks. Last year’s three-class (DP/GT/GX) field totaled 26 cars, compared to this year’s 30-car grid.

***Heavy rains earlier this week resulted in a water main to break underneath part of the Belle Isle circuit, resulting in a 80-feet stretch of asphalt betweens Turn 13 and 14 having to be replaced.

***Following next month’s IMSA round at Kansas, Ryan Eversley will take part in the famed Hot Rod Power Tour. Eversley will report live via Continental Tire’s Twitter account (@ContinentalTire) and Instagram (@Continnental_Tire) using the hashtag #Ryan. The CTSC star will navigate the 1,600-plus mile trip in a variety of cars built by Petty’s Garage and Lingenfelter.

***While the race takes the green flag at 12:10 p.m., watch same-as-live coverage of the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Detroit’s Belle Isle beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

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


More in WeatherTech Championship