Anytime you’re racing in the Motor City it’s a big deal. After all, Detroit is the automotive capital of the world. Racing there is an especially big deal for the 23 cars representing 12 different manufacturers that will compete in IMSA’s 100-minute Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at the 2.3-mile Belle Isle Park street circuit on Saturday, June 1.
Atop the entry list are the 11 Daytona Prototype international (DPi) machines competing in what will be the fifth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. There are also 12 entries in the GT Daytona (GTD) class, all vying for a new title in 2019, the WeatherTech Sprint Cup, which encompasses seven “sprint races” — 2h40m in length or shorter.
Here’s a closer look at some of the drivers and teams in this year’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic field:
- Of the 45 drivers on the entry list (one driver for the No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi is listed as TBD), 10 have at least one victory.
- Jordan Taylor is the winningest active driver at Belle Isle with five career IMSA victories. His first came in the GRAND-AM (G-A) GT class in 2012, followed by the Daytona Prototype and overall victory in the final G-A appearance in 2013. He’s earned overall and Prototype class victories in 2014, 2016 and 2017. All of his victories came in GM race cars — Chevrolet Camaro GT.R (2012), Chevrolet Corvette DP (2013, 2014, 2016) and Cadillac DPi-V.R (2017).
- General Motors has earned at least one class victory in every IMSA race at Detroit dating back to the inaugural American Le Mans Series (ALMS) event on Belle Isle in 2007.
- Chevrolet, which does not have any cars competing this year, is the winningest manufacturer at Detroit with nine victories. Cadillac has won in both of its DPi appearances to date.
- Ricky Taylor is the second-winningest active IMSA driver in Detroit, co-driving to three victories (2014, 2016 and 2017) with his younger brother, Jordan. He will share the No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi with Helio Castroneves.
- Wayne Taylor Racing is the winningest IMSA team at Detroit, with four previous victories (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017). Action Express Racing picked up its third Detroit win last year (photo at top) with co-drivers Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran. Either WTR or AXR has won every race on Belle Isle dating back to 2012.
- Nasr will be joined in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R. this year by Pipo Derani who won the pole last year driving the ESM Nissan DPi. The pair teamed to win this year’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and share a four-point lead in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings.
- In the GTD ranks, Meyer Shank Racing will be going for its third consecutive Detroit victory. In 2017, Katherine Legge and Andy Lally brought home the first victory anywhere in the world for the Acura NSX GT3 race car. Legge scored a repeat win last year co-driving with Mario Farnbacher.
- This year, Legge is sharing the No. 57 Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank Racing Acura with Christina Nielsen, while Farnbacher is co-driving the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian NSX with Trent Hindman.
- Bryan Sellers, driver of the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3, is the only driver on the entry list with multiple pole positions at Detroit. Sellers scored Motul Pole Awards for the GTD class in both 2016 and 2018, but will not go for a third this year as his co-driver, Ryan Hardwick, will handle qualifying duties.
- Porsche and Acura are tied as the winningest active manufacturers in IMSA races at Detroit. Each has three previous victories.
The Chevrolet Sports Car Classic – a featured event of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear event weekend – will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET on June 1. IMSA Radio also will cover the action live on IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio Channel 202 (Streaming 972).
Previous Detroit winners in this year’s field (10):
- Jordan Taylor (5) – G-A GT – 2012, G-A DP/Overall – 2013; P/Overall – 2014, 2016, 2017
- Ricky Taylor (3) – P/Overall – 2014, 2016, 2017
- Renger van der Zande (2) – Prototype Challenge (PC) – 2015, 2016
- Mario Farnbacher (2) – GTD – 2015, 2018
- Katherine Legge (2) – GTD – 2017, 2018
- Joao Barbosa (1) – G-A DP/Overall – 2012
- Tristan Nunez (1) – G-A GX – 2013
- Dane Cameron (1) – P/Overall – 2015
- Andy Lally (1) – GTD – 2017
- Felipe Nasr (1) – P/Overall – 2018
Previous Detroit pole winners in this year’s field (4):
- Bryan Sellers (2) – GTD – 2016, 2018
- Jordan Taylor (1) – G-A DP/Overall – 2013
- Lawson Aschenbach (1) – GTD – 2017
- Pipo Derani (1) – P/Overall – 2018
Previous Detroit-winning teams in this year’s field (6):
- Wayne Taylor Racing (4) – G-A DP/Overall – 2013; P/Overall – 2014, 2016, 2017
- Action Express Racing (3) – G-A DP/Overall – 2012; P/Overall – 2015, 2018
- Starworks Motorsport (2) – PC – 2015, 2016
- Meyer Shank Racing (2) – GTD – 2017, 2018
- Team Penske (1) – ALMS P2/Overall – 2007
- Scuderia Corsa (1) – GTD – 2014
Previous Detroit-winning manufacturers in this year’s field (6)
- Acura – 3
- Porsche – 3
- Cadillac – 2
- Ferrari – 2
- Audi – 1
- Mazda – 1