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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.