***Fresh off last weekend’s Indianapolis 500, Townsend Bell and James Davison return to their day jobs in the TUDOR Championship. Bell, who was eliminated in a late-race accident while running inside the top-three at Indy, currently leads the GTD standings with co-driver Bill Sweedler. TRG-AMR driver Davison, meanwhile, finished 16th in his Indy 500 debut.
***This weekend marks Sweedler’s debut on the 2.35-mile street course while it’s Bell’s first trip back to Belle Isle as a driver since his Indy Lights days. The Ian Willis-led squad, along with a dozen other TUDOR Championship competitors, are coming off a two-day test at Watkins Glen.
***Despite Saturday’s race only featuring two of the four classes, Continental Tire has brought approximately 1,500 tires to Belle Isle (1,000 slicks and 500 rain tires). All teams are on Continental “Blacks” this weekend, unless it rains, which would see GTD competitors switch to the “Gold” construction.
***Richard Westbrook has an extremely busy month of racing planned. In addition to his driving duties in Spirit of Daytona’s Corvette DP at Detroit and Watkins Glen, the GM factory driver will take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Corvette Racing, as well as jetting off to Sunday’s test day at La Sarthe. He has also inked a deal to drive an Abt Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra in the Nurburgring 24, totaling more than 55 hours of racing in five weeks.
***The No. 18 Muehlner Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America is carrying a new look this weekend, promoting the upcoming film “22 Jump Street.” The faces of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, the movie’s stars, are plastered on the side of the GTD class contender, which will be driven by Tomy Drissi and Sebastian Asch. The film hits theaters on June 13.
***Anthony Lazzaro will return to the wheel of the No. 2 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b for next month’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Johannes van Overbeek and Ed Brown, who are fresh off victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, are currently tied for third in the Prototype championship standings.
***Both of the ESM HPDs will be carrying a decal this weekend in honor of Sir Jack Brabham, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 88. David Brabham has been a regular part of the team’s lineup and is expected to return to the wheel for the season-ending Petit Le Mans.
***Spirit of Daytona Racing, along with a number of other Prototype teams, will opt for a two-driver lineup for Watkins Glen, although team boss Troy Flis confirmed that Mike Rockenfeller will return to the No. 90 Corvette for Petit Le Mans.
***ZF and HPD recently announced a new partnership that will see the California-based manufacturer implementing ZF’s high-performance clutch and shock-absorber technology in a variety of North American series where HPD is active, including the TUDOR Championship.