The #6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 made it back-to-back wins in the championship with Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron’s triumph on the streets of Belle Isle.
“It’s good to win in Detroit finally,” said Montoya. “It’s nice to be here with Acura and team Penske it’s an amazing programme. Dane [Cameron] did an amazing job, we did everything we needed to do, we just need to keep doing that every week.”
A strategy call from the #77 Mazda RT-24P led to the only significant amount of time that the #6 Acura spent outside of the lead of the race. Cameron made a pass on Nunez for the top spot with just under one hour to go when Nunez, who had not pitted his #77 Mazda, began to struggle for tyre grip.
A hard-charging Felipe Nasr came just short of a third-straight win at Belle Isle for Cadillac. The #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac, which had dominated the early parts of the weekend with Pipo Derani, ended the race in second.
One victim of Nasr’s late-race efforts was the #7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 of Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves. Taylor was passed by Nasr with fifteen minutes to go and had to settle for third for himself and Castroneves.
It was a good day for the JDC-Miller Motorsports crew too. Its pair of Cadillac DPi-V.R.s ended the race in fourth and fifth with the #84 Cadillac finishing one second ahead of the #85 Cadillac.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, it was an abysmal day for the Mazda Team Joest crew. First, the #55 Mazda RT-24P’s day came to an end early following an incident with 30 minutes to run. Harry Tincknell was on board when he made contact with the #84 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R. going into Turn 4. Tincknell had moved over and forced Simpson to take a much tighter line through the corner. This lead Simpson to nudge Tincknell offline and send the Mazda into the tyre barrier.
On the restart following that incident, the #77 Mazda of Tristan Nunez and Oliver Jarvis ended up facing the wrong direction after contact with the #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R. The #77 Mazda ended the race in tenth, besting only their teammates in the #55 Mazda.
The #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. ended the race in ninth after minor contact with the Turn 7 barriers.
Richard Heistand and Jack Hawksworth in the #14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC-F GT3 took home the win in GT Daytona.
“I wanted it,” said Heistand. “To be honest, we didn’t have the fastest car and I didn’t think we would win, but I was talking to Jack [Hawksworth] and he said we were going to win.”
Heistand started the car and handed it over to Hawksworth when the car made its only pit stop of the race. The restart after the event’s third full-course yellow left Hawksworth in second behind Patrick Long in the #73 Park Place Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Hawksworth was able to make the pass for the lead in the braking zone for Turn 7. From there the #14 Lexus was able to keep the rest of the GTD field behind it following an additional two restarts after full-course yellows.
The pole-sitting #73 Park Place Porsche of Patrick Long and Zacharie Robichon ended the race in second. Robichon started the car and lead for much of the first half before passing the duties onto Long who kept the car towards the front of the field.
Making it two Lexus RC-F GT3s on the podium was the #12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus. It was a strong and most importantly, a clean day for Townsend Bell and Frank Montecalvo. Bell moved into third when Katherine Legge in the #57 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 found herself off of the optimum line after trying to make a pass for second.
Fourth and fifth positions were both Lamborghini Huracan GT3 machines with the #44 Magnus Lamborghini getting the better of the #48 Paul Miller Racing entry.
It was a day of ups and downs for the #48 Paul Miller Lamborghini. Ryan Hardwick started the car and found himself facing the wrong way and in a barrier after contact at the first turn of the first lap. Hardwick nursed the car, which had rear right damage, back to the pits and the team crucially kept the car on the lead lap.
A handful of drivers will now board planes and head to Le Mans for the test day, with IMSA action set to return at Watkins Glen from June 27-30.
Featured image courtesy of IMSA