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SDR Returns; 25 Cars for Detroit

Spirit of Daytona Racing set for return after missing last two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races…

Photo: Scott LePage/IMSA

After missing the last two rounds, Spirit of Daytona Racing will make its return to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition next weekend in Detroit with its freshly built Cadillac DPi-V.R.

It is one of 25 cars on the entry list for the fifth round of the season, which features Prototype and GT Daytona-only.

The Troy Flis-led squad, which stepped away from the Long Beach and Mid-Ohio rounds to regroup following a race-ending crash at Sebring, recently completed a test at Watkins Glen with season-long drivers Tristan Vautier and Matt McMurry.

“It was tough to step back and miss our first IMSA races in a long time, and as racers we hated to do it,” Flis said. “But after looking at the situation, it was absolutely the best decision we could have made.

“We’ve been kind of on the back foot ever since moving to the new Prototype configuration (in 2017) working with different platforms and manufactures and sometimes things coming together just at the last minute.

“So we were often just reacting to what was coming at us instead of being able to plan and look further down the road.”

The team, which made the switch from LMP2 machinery to the Cadillac DPi over the winter, led the season-opening Rolex 24 and then Vautier went on to set a new track record to take the pole in qualifying at Sebring.

“But now with this Cadillac, we are in a much better position,” said Flis.

“Our test at the Glen was pretty incredible—it wasn’t that we went out and set a track record or anything like that. But it was one of the most productive tests that we’ve ever had.”

25 Entries for Detroit

Aside from Spirit of Daytona’s return and the absence of Performance Tech Motorsports, there are no changes to the Prototype class, which remains at 14 entries.

The GT Daytona field, however, drops to 11 cars with the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 not listed following a one-off run at Mid-Ohio, where Katherine Legge and Alvaro Parente claimed a runner-up finish in class.

There are, however, two driver changes in GTD since Mid-Ohio.

German touring car legend Bernd Schneider is set to share the wheel of the No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Kenny Habul, with Robby Foley in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 alongside Bill Auberlen.

Track action kicks off on Fri. June 1, with the 100-minute race getting underway Sat. June 2 at 12:30 p.m. EDT.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. Andrew Sampson

    May 23, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Even with the le mans testing conflict you look at these IMSA fields and have to say wow! Entire pro class missing and still a strong grid!

    Hoping the coming harmonized prototype regulations don’t screw this up for everyone, and we still see top notch competition in North America with the best teams free to go whoop ass in France every summer.

    Super excited for the Mosport round in July!

    • Matt

      May 24, 2018 at 6:38 am

      Haha glad to see another Mosport fan here!

    • kv

      May 24, 2018 at 11:38 am

      Super Cruise, will keep Vaultier between the lines and on the track !

  2. David Chaste

    May 24, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    I guess they need a warmup before 6hrs at Watkins Glen. But Detroit isn’t the race i would choose to come back from a crash.

    The drivers probably got the word: no gambling. Just finish in one piece.

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