Race Weekend Central

WTRAndretti Wins Wreck-Strewn IMSA Detroit Grand Prix

Ricky Taylor made an aggressive move to the inside of Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Mathieu Jaminet at the end of the backstretch with 26 minutes remaining to take the lead Saturday afternoon (June 1). From there, Ricky was able to hold on to win the IMSA Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear on the streets of the Motor City.

“[The win] means so much,” Ricky Taylor told NBC Sports’ Matt Yocum after the race. “We haven’t won a race in over a year. I hadn’t won a race since I got married. It just seemed like nothing could go right. We didn’t think we had a chance, but we got to front after the one [pit stop] and made it work from there.”

Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor’s margin of victory was 1.132 seconds over Jaminet and Nick Tandy. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande were third in their Cadillac, then the No. 7 Porsche of Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr. The WTRAndretti No. 40 of Louis Deletraz and Jordan Taylor was fifth.

Tandy started from pole and managed to open up a decent advantage. However, Ford Multimatic Motorsports’ Harry Tincknell was never able to come up to speed. He stalled at the entrance to the hairpin to bring out the race’s first full course caution.

Once the green came back out, a number of teams decided on an alternate strategy. Minimum drive-time for this race was only 10 minutes. Almost as soon as the 10-minute mark was reached, a few teams pitted to change drivers and get a splash of fuel. Among that group was Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani, who started at the rear of the GTP class after catching the wall in the final minutes of qualifying.

See also
Nick Tandy Wins IMSA Pole At Detroit

Tandy pulled away to a four-second lead over Albuquerque. Then, trouble broke out.

Tandy completely misjudged his closing rate on Conquest Racing’s Daniel Serra and ran right into the back of Serra’s Ferrari under braking for the hairpin. Serra ended up spinning out, while Tandy was given a drive-through penalty.

The penalty dropped Tandy back to sixth. Meanwhile, Albuquerque took the overall lead in his Acura.

The penalty likely jump-started pit stops. Bourdais was first of the leaders to pit. A couple of laps later, Albuquerque pitted from the lead, but got jumped in the short pit lane by the No. 7.

The day for BMW M Team RLL went from excellent to terrible in a matter of a few laps. Nick Yelloly pitted from the lead and handed over to Connor de Phillippi.

De Phillippi then went into the hairpin on his out lap too fast and slid into the tires. He was able to recover from that, but got loose exiting turn 2 a couple of laps later and hit the concrete wall with his right rear corner.

That wall contact broke the right rear toe link. De Phillippi attempted to limp the car back to the pits, but it just wasn’t in the cards. He stopped the car on the backstretch to bring out the race’s second caution.

At the time of the caution, Tandy was the only one of the leaders who hadn’t stopped yet. With a 34-second lead, Tandy was able to get into the pits before the entrance closed, pit for tires, fuel and Jaminet, then get out and keep the lead.

Right after the restart, the narrow confines of the Detroit circuit reared its head. Action Express Racing’s Jack Aitken ran into JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Richard Westbrook in turn 1, one of the narrowest points on the track.

Aitken ended up hitting the inside wall, while Westbrook spun and backed into the barriers. The incident completely blocked the track and brought out another yellow. Once Westbrook was able to get turned around, both him and Aitken were able to continue. Aitken was given a drive-through penalty for causing the incident.

Jaminet led on the restart, but had Ricky Taylor on his tail. With 26 minutes to go, Ricky got up to Jaminet on the backstretch and dove to Jaminet’s inside under braking for the hairpin. No contact was made, but Taylor was able to make the pass cleanly.

A yellow flew with 20 minutes to go due to a substantial amount of debris on the course. On the restart, Aitken got himself into some more trouble.

Aitken attempted to get a run on Proton Competition’s Gianmaria Bruni exiting turn 3. Contact was made and Bruni spun into the barriers. That brought out the fifth yellow with 10 minutes to go. Bruni was out for the day, while Aitken continued.

In GTD Pro, Corvette Racing with Pratt Miller Motorsports’ Antonio Garcia claimed the pole Friday for the race, but effectively went nowhere. During the yellow for Tincknell’s stalled Mustang, Garcia pulled into the pits with mechanical issues. Garcia was eventually able to return to the race, but ended up 15 laps down.

Garcia’s issues allowed Tommy Milner in the second Corvette to take the class lead. Once the green came back out, Milner was able to open up a decent gap.

After the second caution, Nicky Catsburg was still in the overall lead with VasserSullivan’s Ben Barnicoat threatening. Barnicoat looked to the inside at the end of the long backstretch and made contact. Not only did Catsburg spin out, but Barnicoat hit the inside wall and damaged his Lexus.

Both drivers were able to continue, but Barnicoat’s car definitely paid for the contact. The steering wheel was no longer straight and the car was littering the track with debris. AO Racing’s Laurin Heinrich was able to go from third to the class lead. Half a lap later, Heinrich got stuck in the track blockage.

Once the green came back out, Heinrich was able to pull away as Barnicoat fought his own car’s handling deficiencies. The late yellows kept Barnicoat close, but he could not prevent Heinrich and Sebastian Priaulx from taking their second straight victory.

Heinrich and Priaulx’s margin of victory was 2.885 seconds over VasserSullivan’s Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth. The Heart of Racing’s Ross Gunn and Alex Riberas finished third on the road despite Riberas running in the back of Pfaff Motorsports’ Marvin Kirchhoefer in the last couple of minutes, resulting in Kirchhoefer going into the tires.

VasserSullivan’s No. 15 for Frankie Montecalvo and Parker Thompson were fourth, while Paul Miller Racing’s Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow came from the rear to finish fifth.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear Unofficial Results

Next up for WeatherTech teams is the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen, the third round of the Michelin Endurance Cup. All five classes will do battle on the 3.4-mile road course. Coverage will begin on USA Network June 23 at 11 a.m. ET. The final three hours will be exclusive to Peacock.

About the author

2021 Phil Allaway Headshot Phil Allaway

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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