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1-2 Finish For Cadillac At Belle Isle

Maiden win for NSX GT3

Cadillac DPi-V.Rs finished first and second at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Detroit after Jordan Taylor, in the #10 Konica Minolta entry he shares with brother Ricky, took the chequered flag 4.948 seconds ahead of the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing entry with Dane Cameron at the wheel.

Taking the final podium position in the premier category was the #70 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi, driven by Tom Long and Joel Miller.

Victory in the highly-competitive GTD category, and the maiden win for the manufacturer, went to the #93 Michael Shank Racing With Curb-Adajanian Acura NSX GT3, piloted by Katherine Legge and, bringing the car home, Andy Lally. Second in the GTD category by only 2.441 seconds at the finish, was the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari F488 GT3 driven by Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan.

Snatching third in class in the dying minutes of the race was Madison Snow in the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 he shares with Bryan Sellers.

The PC class saw a comfortable win for the championship-leading #38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA FLM09 driven by James French and Patricio O’Ward. Second in the PC category was the #26 BAR1 Motorsports entry.

A shortened qualifying session for the Prototype category meant that IMSA had to refer to the regulations to determine grid positions for the 100-minute race.

As a result, the #5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac Dpi, with Christian Fittipaldi at the wheel, led the field away from the line with Eric Curran driving the #31 Whelan Engineering Racing Cadillac in second. Second and third places were swapped in the first fifteen minutes after Misha Goikhberg in the #85 JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA LMP2 took second place two minutes into the race before Curran took the position back.

Fittipaldi, meanwhile, held on to the lead before a Full Course Yellow neutralised the race after 27 minutes following Kenny Habul, in the #75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, losing control under braking into Turn 3, making contact with Renger Van Der Zande in the #90 VisitFlorida Multimatic/Riley LMP2 in the process.

Immediately prior, Ben Keating in the #33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes had made heavy contact with the wall at Turn 8.

The resulting repairs meant the race was neutralised for nearly 20 minutes. As the race went back to green, and after fuel and driver changes, the #31 car, now with Dane Cameron at the wheel, held the lead over Joel Miller in the #70 Mazda Motorsports entry and Jordan Taylor in the #10 Cadillac. Taylor moved into second place as the race passed the one-hour mark.

Traffic on the busy Detroit circuit came into play and Jordan Taylor’s pace on the car’s third stop meant that he took the lead with 20 minutes to go and was able to hold on to it to the chequered flag.

The win for the #10 car was made all the more special as it started from last place on the grid, following the disappointment in qualifying. Extensive work was required on to get the car out on track for the race and Ricky Taylor was delighted that Konica Minolta Cadillac DP1-V.R at the victory.

“I almost ruined it yesterday” said Ricky Taylor. “I can’t get over our guys. The pit-stop at the beginning and jumping two cars, the pit-stop at the end and the strategy all through the race was unbelievable. Our car was in a million pieces yesterday and they stayed up till after midnight getting it together. This one I didn’t expect.”

GTD Pole-sitter Lawson Aschenbach in the Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMs GT3 led the field away and the top three positions remained the same for the first 27 minutes of the race.

After safety-car period and pit-stops, Andy Lally in the #93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 led the GTD field but was closely followed by Alessandro Balzan in the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari F488 GT3 and Andrew Davies in the #57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS.

An issue with the #57 car with 25 minutes left in the race saw it drop down the field, promoting Jeff Segal in the #86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 to third in the class, followed by Madison Snow in the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán.

Segal lost two places in the closing minutes of the race allowing Madison Snow to take over third position, which he held to the chequered flag.

Katherine Legge, co-driver of the #93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3, was delighted at the victory.

“I’m just so happy for Michael Shank Racing, Acura and HPD right now,” said Katherine Legge. “They gave us a car that was capable of getting it done and we did. We gave them their first win which is going to be special forever.”

“For us it doesn’t matter who we’re racing against. We’ve got some great brands out there and this time we came out on top. I’m really proud of Andy and the team and very grateful that today was our day.”

In the three-car field in the PC category was led for the duration of the race by the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports entry, driven by James French and Patricio O’Ward who held on their lead tom win the category by over 42 seconds from Tomi Drissi and Bruno Junqueira the #26 entry.

The Prototype result means that the #10 Konica Minolta team extend their lead in the championship to 29 points over the #5 Mustang Sampling Racing team.

The next round of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be the Sahlen’s Six Hours of then Glen at Watkins Glen on June 29 – July 2.