Sports Info Central

A Lot Of Racing Packed Into Friday At Detroit GP

(DETROIT, MI) – If you’re thinking of attending the 30th edition of the Detroit Grand Prix, there are a total of five races in addition to practice and qualifying from three separate race series. As well fans will be treated to a full slate of musical entertainment, all-ages hands-on activities, displays, and a special 30th DGP Anniversary exhibit.

Saturday evening Michigan country music star Frankie Ballard will perform while Sunday Marine City’s Jeff Gutt leads the world famous Stone Temple Pilots onto the Fan Zone Stage.

Alexander Rossi exits Turn 2 at the Belle Isle road course in Detroit during IndyCar practice on 31 May 2019. Rossi had the fastest lap of the day and will lead Group 2 qualifying for Dual 1 on June 1.Photo by John Skinner.
Alexander Rossi exits Turn 2 at the Belle Isle road course in Detroit during IndyCar practice on 31 May 2019. Rossi had the fastest lap of the day and will lead Group 2 qualifying for Dual 1 on June 1.
Photo by John Skinner.

The on-track activities started with a shot when the sports cars of the International Motor Sports Association roared along the 2.35 mile temporary road course on Belle Isle at 8:30 this morning. The Daytona Prototype International and GT Daytona classes of cars opened the weekend festivities with their first 90 minute practice session ahead of Saturday’s points race at 12:30.

The sounds of racing could be heard throughout the Indian Village and Jefferson Chalmers neighbourhoods as well as across the Detroit River in the Windsor environ of Walkerville.

Half of last year’s race winner at Detroit in the IMSA GTD class, Katherine Legge, has teamed up with two time GTD champion Christina Nielsen for 2019. After the first practice the all female team led the field with a lap time of 1:30.304 in their Acura NSX GT3, 0.243 seconds ahead of defending champion Bryan Sellers and team mate Ryan Hardwick. Last year Legge was teamed with Mario Farnbacher to win the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic on Belle Isle.

Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron in the No. 6 Acura Team Penske Acura DPi at Belle Isle in Detroit on 31 May 2019. The team qualified first in the DPi class for the IMSA points race on June 1.Photo by Ian Shalapata.
Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron in the No. 6 Acura Team Penske Acura DPi at Belle Isle in Detroit on 31 May 2019. The team qualified first in the DPi class for the IMSA points race on June 1.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

After IMSA was the Trans Am series followed by the IndyCar entrants for their first of two practice sessions. Trans Am and IndyCar will each have two full points competitions this weekend.

Robby Foley and Bill Auberlen in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 at Belle Isle in Detroit on 31 May 2019. The team qualified first in the GTD class for the IMSA points race on June 1.Photo by Ian Shalapata.
Robby Foley and Bill Auberlen in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 at Belle Isle in Detroit on 31 May 2019. The team qualified first in the GTD class for the IMSA points race on June 1.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Will Power was the early leader during the first IndyCar practice before being overtaken by Alexander Rossi. The pair were then surpassed by Scott Dixon, a former winner in Detroit. The practice was red flagged after Sebastien Bourdais drove into turn 7 causing a delay in the session.

Dixon finished with a best time of 1:16.7418 and a 0.3464 gap over Power with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden following.

By day’s end Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron of Acura Team Penske in the No. 6 car qualified on the pole for the DPi class while Robby Foley and Bill Auberle will start from the pole position in the GTD class. Legge and Nielsen qualified third behind Zacharie Robichon and Patrick Long.

Josef Newgarden in Turn 7 at the Belle Isle road course in Detroit during IndyCar practice on 31 May 2019. Newgarden had the second fastest lap of the day and will lead Group 1 qualifying for Dual 1 on June 1.Photo by Ian Shalapata.
Josef Newgarden in Turn 7 at the Belle Isle road course in Detroit during IndyCar practice on 31 May 2019. Newgarden had the second fastest lap of the day and will lead Group 1 qualifying for Dual 1 on June 1.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

In IndyCar practice, Rossi had the fastest lap of the day at 112.595 mph and completed the circuit in 1:15.1367. He’ll lead a qualifying group tomorrow morning which includes Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal, Spencer Pigot, Simon Pagenaud, Marcus Ericsson, Colton Herta, Takuma Sato, Patricio O’Ward, Max Chilton, and Tony Kanaan.

Newgarden heads up the other group consisting of Power, Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Ed Jones, Zach Veach, Bourdais, Felix Rosenqvist, Santino Ferrucci, Matheus Leist, and Marco Andretti.

Tony Buffomante, from Naperville, IL, driving the No. 34 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang won the pole position for the TA2 Muscle Car Challenge in Detroit on 31 May 2019.Photo by Ian Shalapata.
Tony Buffomante, from Naperville, IL, driving the No. 34 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang won the pole position for the TA2 Muscle Car Challenge in Detroit on 31 May 2019.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

The top-three Trans Am Series drivers were only separated by seven tenths of a second for qualifying for the first TA2 race tomorrow. The No. 34 Ford Mustang driven by Tony Buffomante was awarded the pole position, followed ever so closely by Rafa Matos in the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro and 18 year-old rookie Lawless Alan, who is driving his first street course.

The gates open at 8am tomorrow and soon after IMSA will hold a 20 minute warm up session. At 9:15 the Trans Am Muscle Car Challenge will get underway.Qualifying for the IndyCar Dual 1 will begin at 10:45 with the green flag dropping on the race at 12:30.

Rafa Matos, from Boca Raton, FL, driving the No. 88 3Dimensional Services Group Chevrolet Camaro will start in the front row for the TA2 Muscle Car Challenge in Detroit after recording the second fastest lap during qualifying on 31 May 2019.Photo by Ian Shalapata.
Rafa Matos, from Boca Raton, FL, driving the No. 88 3Dimensional Services Group Chevrolet Camaro will start in the front row for the TA2 Muscle Car Challenge in Detroit after recording the second fastest lap during qualifying on 31 May 2019.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.
Lawless Alan, of Van Nuys, CA, driving the No. 52 AutoParkIT Ford Mustang chases Tom Sheehan, of Bow, NH, in the No. 97 LTK Insulation Technologies Ford Mustang during TA2 qualifying on 31 May 2019 in Detroit. Lawless will start from the second row in the Muscle Car Challenge on 1 June.Photo by John Skinner.
Lawless Alan, of Van Nuys, CA, driving the No. 52 AutoParkIT Ford Mustang chases Tom Sheehan, of Bow, NH, in the No. 97 LTK Insulation Technologies Ford Mustang during TA2 qualifying on 31 May 2019 in Detroit. Lawless will start from the second row in the Muscle Car Challenge on 1 June.
Photo by John Skinner.

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