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Scuderia Corsa Claims Detroit GTD Honors

Alessandro Balzan, Jeff Westphal take GTD class honors in Detroit…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

Scuderia Corsa claimed GT Daytona class honors following an action-packed Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Detroit’s Belle Isle.

Alessandro Balzan held off the No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America for the win, in what was also an equally dramatic closing few laps in the production-based ranks.

The reigning Rolex Series GT champion took over the lead following the one-and-only round of pit stops, thanks to a two-tire strategy called by team principal Giacomo Mattioli.

Balzan came under attack on the final restart by Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS, which led early in the hands of Nelson Canache Jr.

Pumpelly, however, slipped from second to fourth in the closing laps before being eliminated from the race with three laps to go after contact with the No. 555 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Townsend Bell.

With no full-course caution called, the Italian driver managed to eek out the win over a hard-charging Mario Farnbacher, who gave he and co-driver Ian James a season-best second place finish.

It marked Balzan and co-driver Jeff Westphal’s first class win in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Ferrari’s second of the season following Level 5’s victory at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The Paul Miller Racing duo of Christopher Haase and Bryce Miller claimed back-to-back podium finishes in third aboard their No. 48 Audi R8 LMS, capitalizing on the late-race drama.

The top-five was completed by the No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage of James Davison and Al Carter and the Cooper MacNeil and the Leh Keen-driven Alex Job Racing Porsche, which had a tangle with the No. 81 GB Autosport Porsche.

Pumpelly and Canache, meanwhile, were classified 14th after the late-race incident with Bell, which did not result in a penalty.

A 22-minute full-course caution period slowed the race in the second hour after the GB Autosport Porsche went into the barriers, which needed repairing.

The No. 18 Muehlner Motorsport Porsche, which was leading at the time in the hands of Tomy Drissi by virtue of not having yet pitting, later received a drive-through penalty for passing under a previous yellow.

IMSA kept the pit lane closed as it investigated the GTD running order before later penalizing the Muehlner entry.

The lengthy yellow, which IMSA said was used entirely to repair the barrier and not just to investigate the scoring discrepancy, set up a 27-minute run to the finish.

Next up for the TUDOR Championship is the Prototype Challenge-only round at Kansas next weekend, while all four classes return to action for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on June 27-30.

RESULTS: Chevrolet Sports Car Classic

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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