Felipe Nasr holds off hard charging Ricky Taylor for Detroit win
The Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Belle Isle Park being one of the shortest races on the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship calendar is a relief for Felipe Nasr, who claimed the victory ahead of a hard charging Ricky Taylor less than two seconds back.
All eyes were on Team Penske entering the race, as they dominated practice sessions and sought a follow up to their win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. However, it was the Action Express Cadillac of Felipe Nasr, outlasting the Penske Acuras on pit road, who would take the checkered flag.
“This is amazing, it’s so great to win here,” Eric Curran, who started the race in the winning #31 Cadillac, told IMSA Radio. “It wasn’t the perfect weekend early on, but we pulled through.”
Curran put Nasr in a position to succeed, racing hard from the drop of the green flag and making contact with the #99 of Misha Goikhberg on the first lap.
Minutes later, he would make another aggressive move on the Mazda of Tristan Nunez for position as he fought to set up his teammate as best he could. Both the #99 and #77 would succumb to unrelated damage and fuel issues.
While 2017 Detroit race winner Ricky Taylor would cycle through the field on pit strategy after taking the seat from Castroneves early, he ultimately came about one lap short from what appeared to be a perfect weekend. For Curran, this was a relief in the home of General Motors.
“This is a good place for us to win driving a Cadillac,” he said.
Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow entered the race as pole sitters and points leaders in GTD after a record-setting run in yesterday’s qualifying session with their #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini. However, Sellers would face pressure from a hard-charging Katherine Legge in the #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura as she consistently put up the class’ fastest laps.
Legge and teammate Mario Farnbacher would ultimately take the win after pitting later than the Paul Miller Racing team and gaining a large lead. As a last-minute, part-time entry alongside the team’s regular #93 of Lawson Aschenbach and Justin Marks, topping the double podium was an important feat for the entry.
“We were discussing that earlier ‘what’s you favourite racetrack’, Legge told IMSA Radio, listing the series’ iconic racetracks, “this place has got to be up there now.”
The IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Series next takes on Watkins Glen International in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen on July 1st.