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IMSA at Detroit: Ganassi Cadillac wins DPi; Gunn/De Angelis Aston Martin awarded GTD win

Magnussen, van der Zande and Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Make Triumphant Return to Victory Lane in Detroit

Detroit, MI, June 12/21 (Jeff Olson/IMSA): Chip Ganassi likes winners. He celebrated with a few more Saturday. Ganassi’s teams completed a daily sweep when Renger van der Zande held on to the lead given to him by Kevin Magnussen to win the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.

The victory was the second of the day at Belle Isle Park for Ganassi, who won the IndyCar Series race earlier in the day with Marcus Ericsson. The victories were the first since 2013 for both Magnussen and Ericsson, former Formula One drivers.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that this (IMSA) team was put together at the last minute in the fall of last year,” Ganassi said. “After what we’d all been through in 2020, we really didn’t know where we were at going forward. It’s really special to have an availability of talent … that want to come drive for you.”

Van der Zande was leading a fierce duel with Felipe Nasr as the yellow flag waved when the GTD No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW stopped on track. When the 100-minute race resumed with 2 minutes 50 seconds left, van der Zande accelerated away from Nasr, maintaining enough of a gap to win the race by 0.573 seconds.

“It was good for us,” van der Zande said. “The track got really slippery in those last two, three laps. I had some really big moments, and I think the guy behind me, Nasr, also had some big moments. I could pull a bit of a gap. Every time you hit traffic, it’s a risk. I knew that those last two, three laps, I wouldn’t have any traffic. That’s why I think it was better for us to have that last restart.”

The victory was the first in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for Magnussen, who joined the series in the off season after seven seasons in F1. It also let Magnussen join his dad, veteran racer Jan Magnussen, as an IMSA race winner.

“It feels great,” said Magnussen, who also won his first Motul Pole Award on Friday. “This weekend has been extremely good on the team side. We’ve just been fast. I’d say the whole season we’ve been fast. We just haven’t been able to get to the end in the lead. We’ve led a lot of laps this year. Finally, we led the right lap.”

It was the first win of 2021 for Ganassi’s No. 01 car, which led the late laps of the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona before a punctured tire sent van der Zande to the pits. This time, though, the No. 01 and its two pilots were nearly flawless from start to finish.

“We got it together,” van der Zande said. “I’m just super proud of the whole team, how they managed it. I think we can only get better from here. We’ve been a little bit unlucky and made some small mistakes as well, but here we are. This is our first win, and we can build from here.”

Magnussen kept the car in the lead from the start ahead of Nasr’s teammate, Pipo Derani, and handed the lead to van der Zande with 47 minutes remaining. For Magnussen, whose last win came eight years ago in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, the celebration was magical.

Following the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R co-driven by Nasr and Derani to the finish was the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 shared by Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque.

Harry Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis came home fourth in the No. 55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi RT24-P.

The WeatherTech Championship resumes June 24-27 with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.

• Click HERE for the Race Results

No. 23 Heart of Racing Elevated to GTD Win at Detroit:
Gunn, De Angelis Claim First Series Victory After No. 39 Audi Moved to Rear of Field

Detroit, MI, June 12/21 (Mark Robinson/IMSA): The first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win for any driver is memorable. It will be more so for Ross Gunn and Roman De Angelis.

The drivers of the No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin crossed the finish line second in GT Daytona (GTD) at the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic. But the No. 39 Audi R8 that had finished first was moved to the rear of the field when a post-race audit showed that the team’s refueling time was faster than the minimum time specified on IMSA’s Balance of Performance (BoP) table.

This change elevated Gunn, De Angelis and the No. 23 to the top step of the podium and gave Aston Martin its first win in WeatherTech Championship competition. It also moved the No. 19 Lamborghini Huracán up to second place and the No. 66 Acura NSX to third.

“A win’s a win,” said De Angelis, the 20-year-old who grew up just across the Canadian border from Detroit in Belle River, Ontario and was racing on his home track for the first time. “Whether you take it after the race or during the race, it’s always going to say that we won the Detroit Grand Prix in 2021. I’ve always dreamt about winning an IMSA race, let alone competing in one.

De Angelis started second in class and held strong until pitting and turning the car over to Gunn with just over an hour remaining in the 100-minute event. A third-place finish appeared to be in the cards for the No. 23 Aston Martin until Bill Auberlen, running second in the No. 96 BMW M6 stopped on track with 10 minutes left. Gunn wasn’t able to close on Jeff Westphal in the No. 39 Audi on the restart but was rewarded with the victory after the race.

GTLM Corvettes Reward Teammates, Fans with Home Performance

Detroit, MI, June 12/21 (Mark Robinson/IMSA): It didn’t pay WeatherTech Championship points, but the two Corvettes racing in the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic earned their due in goodwill and some friendly competition.

The Nos. 3 and 4 Corvette Racing C8.Rs made a special appearance in the race at Belle Isle Park, competing as the lone GT Le Mans (GTLM) entries when the opportunity came available when the date of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was shifted to August.

Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner took the No. 4 Corvette across the finish line 0.226 seconds ahead of Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 after a spirited intra-team competition. More than the win, Milner said, was the chance for the team to thank the Detroit fans and everyone involved with the program by racing on Belle Isle for the first time in 13 years.

“The whole point of coming here was to showcase these Corvettes,” Milner said. “This team hasn’t been here since 2008, so it was a great opportunity to showcase Corvette Racing to all the engineers and to a lot of the people who work for Corvette Racing. Their families were able to be here to see these cars, so it wasn’t just about us driving on the racetrack. It was also about giving back to the people who make this program what it is and what they’re working toward.”

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