|Chevrolet Sports Car Classic|
June 2, 2021
By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
Raceway at Belle Isle Park – Detroit, Michigan
June 11-12, 2021
Entry List (Click Here)
Fast Facts (All Times ET)
Race Day/Time: Saturday, June 12 – 5:10 p.m.
LIVE – Flag-to-flag beginning at 5 p.m. (also available on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and IMSA.com/TVLive outside the U.S.)
IMSA.com/TVLive Live Qualifying Stream: Friday, June 11 – 3:25 p.m.
IMSA Radio: All sessions live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage begins Saturday, June 12 at 5 p.m. (Sirius 219, XM 202, Internet 992)
Circuit Type: 2.3-mile, 14-turn temporary street course
Race Length: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Event Social Media: Twitter: @detroitgp; Instagram: @detroitgp; Facebook: @detroitgp
Event Hashtags: #IMSA, #DetroitGP
WeatherTech Championship Track Records
DPi: Juan Pablo Montoya, Acura DPi, 1:19.373 / 106.585 mph, May 2019
GTLM: Class has not competed at Belle Isle before
GTD: Bryan Sellers, Lamborghini Huracán GT3, 1:28.942 / 95.117 mph, June 2018
2019 Chevrolet Sports Car Classic Winners (no race in 2020):
DPi: Dane Cameron/Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 6 Acura Team Penske Acura ARX-05 DPi
GTLM: Did not compete in 2019
GTD: Richard Heistand/Jack Hawksworth, No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3
· Back in the Motor City: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship racing returns to Detroit after the 2020 race was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This marks the 11th IMSA event at Belle Isle Park dating to the first race in 2007. Three classes are racing this weekend: Daytona Prototype international (DPi) is competing for points toward the season-long championship; GT Daytona (GTD) is racing for points counting only toward the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup and not the season title; a pair of GT Le Mans (GTLM) entries from Corvette Racing are on hand to run in a non-points exhibition for their home race.
· Super Sprint: At 100 minutes in length, the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic is one of the shortest races of the 2021 season, joining September’s 100-minute Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. It will necessitate changes in strategy for all teams from the typical sprint races that are two hours and 40 minutes long.
· Homecoming: For the first time since 2008, Chevrolet Corvette GT cars will race at Belle Isle, in the shadow of General Motors’ world headquarters in downtown Detroit. The Nos. 3 and 4 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.Rs will compete against each other in a non-points-paying GTLM race.
· New Points Format for 2021: The WeatherTech Championship points structure has changed this season, with each race finishing position earning 10 times the points it received a year ago. Where a class winner took home 35 points in 2020, the reward is now 350 points. Second place in a race now earns 320 points, third place nets 300 and downward from there. In addition, points are now distributed in qualifying, with 35 going to the pole winners in DPi and to the fastest car in the second GTD qualifying session (see below). Points descend from second downward through the qualifying results.
· Revised GTD Qualifying Format: The qualifying session to determine the race starting grid has changed for 2021, with the GT Daytona (GTD) class featuring two segments. The first will see a Silver- or Bronze-rated driver in each GTD car battle for 15 minutes to decide race starting position. Following a mandatory driver change, another 15-minute GTD session will take place to decide qualifying points for the class. The other two classes in action this weekend, DPi and GTLM, will each have a single 15-minute qualifying session.
· IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup Season: Detroit marks the second round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup for GTD competitors. Drivers and teams accumulate points in eight non-endurance races to determine the Sprint Cup champions. Aaron Telitz and Jack Hawksworth, co-drivers of the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, are the defending Sprint Cup champions, but Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley (No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GTE) won the opener last month at Mid-Ohio. Hawksworth was the GTD class winner in the most recent Detroit race (2019), along with Richard Heistand in the No. 14 Lexus. Heistand is in the No. 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 this weekend.
· GTD Parity: The amazing competition in GTD is exemplified in the opening three races of 2021 that have seen a different manufacturer on the top step of the podium each time. Mercedes-AMG, Porsche and BMW have each won once. And considering Acura and Lexus have been the most recent Detroit winners, it throws the GTD landscape wide open this weekend.
· Wayne Taylor Racing: The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 has won two of the three races in 2021, including last month’s event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. No. 10 co-drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor hold a 55-point lead in the DPi standings.
· Mazda: The No. 55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda is the only DPi entry to finish on the podium in each of the first three races this season. With a pair of second-place showings (Daytona, Mid-Ohio) and a third-place result (Sebring), co-drivers Harry Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis sit second in the DPi standings.
Who’s Good Here?
· Acura, with a Twist: Acura has a win each of the last three times races have been held in Detroit, twice in GTD (2017, 2018) and once in DPi (2019). But those came with teams (Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian in GTD, Acura Team Penske in DPi) that no longer compete in those classes. The manufacturer does have a formidable DPi lineup this year, considering Wayne Taylor Racing has won four prototype races at Detroit since 2013 and Meyer Shank is running the second Acura DPi entry.
· General Motors: While Acura won most recently in DPi, General Motors prototypes including the Corvette Daytona Prototype and Cadillac DPi-V.R earned seven consecutive overall victories from 2012 through 2018. In addition, Corvette and Camaro GT machines have won four times in IMSA competition at Belle Isle.
· Katherine Legge: The veteran driver co-drove the Acura GTD winners in 2017 and ‘18. This year, she’s joined the No. 88 Team Hardpoint EBM squad, where she will drive a Porsche 911 GT3R along with team co-owner Rob Ferriol.
· Detroit Is Taylor Made: The Taylor brothers, Jordan and Ricky, are the active wins leaders at Detroit. Jordan tops the list with five Belle Isle triumphs and will be after another win next weekend in the No. 3 Corvette GTLM entry. Jordan’s last four Detroit wins came in the prototype class driving for his father’s team, Wayne Taylor Racing. Jordan’s brother Ricky was the co-driver for the last three of those wins.
Previous Chevrolet Sports Car Classic Winners in 2021 Field (11)
Jordan Taylor (5): GT – 2012; DP – 2013; P – 2014, 2016, 2017
Ricky Taylor (3): P – 2014, 2016, 2017
Dane Cameron (2): P – 2015; DPi – 2019
Mario Farnbacher (2): GTD – 2015, 2018
Katherine Legge (2): GTD – 2017, 2018
Renger van der Zande (2): PC – 2015, 2016
Jack Hawksworth (1): GTD – 2019
Richard Heistand (1): GTD – 2019
Andy Lally (1): GTD – 2017
Felipe Nasr (1): P – 2018
Jeff Westphal (1): GTD – 2014
Previous Chevrolet Sports Car Classic Pole Winners in 2021 Field (3)
Bryan Sellers (2): GTD –2016, 2018
Pipo Derani (1): P – 2018
Jordan Taylor (1): DP – 2013
Previous Chevrolet Sports Car Classic Winning Teams in 2021 Field (5)
Wayne Taylor Racing (4): DP –2013; P – 2014, 2016, 2017
Action Express Racing (3): DP – 2012; P – 2015, 2018
Corvette Racing (2): GT1 – 2007, 2008
Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian (2): GTD – 2017, 2018
Vasser Sullivan (1): GTD – 2019
Previous Chevrolet Sports Car Classic Winning Manufacturers in 2021 Field (6)
Chevrolet – 9
Acura – 4
Porsche – 3
Cadillac – 2
Lexus – 1
Mazda – 1