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IMSA Preview: Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix

Written by Sean McKean, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

With the GTP championship battle beginning to take form, IMSA now heads to Detroit for their second street race of the season. Similar to the last round in Monterey, this race will not feature LMP2s – only featuring the GTP and GTD Pro classes. This will be the last round not featuring every class until late June, when the grid heads to Watkins Glen.

There are 21 entries expected: 10 in the GTP class and 11 in the GTD Pro class.

Also like the last street course we went to – Long Beach – this will be a “sprint” event, the race only lasting one hour and 40 minutes. Subsequently, qualifying will be paramount, as the bumpy and tricky nature of the Detroit circuit will prove difficult to overtake.

The class of the field in the GTP class at this point have undoubtedly been the #7 Porsche crew of Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr. Though they’ve only taken one victory from Daytona, they have finished on the podium in every single race this season. If they qualify well and execute on pit stops, expect them to further their podium record. 

Another team that’s been mightily consistent this season is the #31 Cadillac squad of Jack Aitken and Pipo Derani. Barring a 10th-place finish in Sebring, they have finished runner-up in every other race so far. Will Detroit become the first time this season they arrive at the top step?

The team currently leading the GTD Pro class – the #77 Porsche piloted by Sebastian Priaulx and Laurin Heinrich – haven’t been the most consistent, but their win last time in Laguna Seca has put them at the top. However, with a ninth-place finish in the last sprint in Long Beach, the Brit and German pairing will be working to improve their record at Detroit.

When talking about the GTD Pro class, not mentioning the Vasser Sullivan Lexus team of Ben Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth would be criminal. Despite their shocking DNF in the Daytona round, finishes of first in Long Beach and fourth in Laguna Seca makes them one of the favourites heading into another sprint.


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