The 2019 IMSA Grand Prix of Detroit Live Blog

image
Brian ClearyGetty Images

Final Lap: Nasr is back within a second, but can't catch Dane Cameron. Penske's #6 Acura takes a back-to-back win, the second win for Cameron and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya at Penske Racing. Nasr's #31 Action Express Cadillac and the #7 Penske Acura complete the DPi podium.

In GTD, Jack Hawksworth takes a commanding win in the #14 Lexus RC-F. The pole-sitting #73 Park Place Porsche, driven today by Porsche factory driver Patrick Long in a one-off appearance, and #12 Lexus, driven by NBC's IndyCar analyst Townsend Bell as half of a particularly unique two-job weekend, complete that podium.

IMSA returns on June 30th with the Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen, but sports car racing has a slightly larger event in between; The 87th 24 Hours of Le Mans begins on June 15th.

0:04 Remaining: Nasr locks his rear wheels under braking and the gap is now over a second, allowing Dane Cameron to pull away slightly in the Acura entry. Just a few laps left.

0:05 Remaining: The #6 Acura and #31 Cadillac are now together on track for the overall lead. The gap is under half a second and Nasr is pressuring, with both entirely clear of the GTD field and no longer dealing with traffic for the remainder of the race.

0:09 Remaining: Katherine Legge spins the #57 Acura from fourth, but rejoins the GTD field without issue or significant damage. That car will fall all the way down to ninth.

0:11 Remaining: Rain in the area with very little time left. Both battles for the win are still very much up in the air.

0:17 Remaining: Felipe Nasr into second in the #31 Cadillac of Action Express Racing, breaking Penske's 1-2 for Acura. He now has about a quarter of an hour to keep Cadillac's unbeaten streak at this race alive.

0:20 Remaining: Mazda #77 is around, somehow. It resumes, but loses massive track position. Not a banner day for that program despite showing impressive pace and no mechanical issues.

Cadillac #84 loses third to Cadillac #31, while Cadillac #10 is back in the pits with another rear bodywork issue. GM has a lot of entries in this class.

0:21 Remaining: Back to green. Acura #6 pulls away, while Acura #7 is under immediate pressure by the #84 Cadillac for second.

0:30 Remaining, Full Course Caution: Back to green and the #84 JDC Miller Cadillac (The "Banana Boat") tries to make an aggressive move for third, particularly problematic given that the car is restarting fifth and this is a single file restart.

Mazda #55 moves into third ahead of the #31 Cadillac and the #84 Cadillac follows, but just one corner later Stephen Simpson gets particularly aggressive with that yellow car again and the #55 Mazda ends up in a wall. That'll be the fifth safety car period in a race that is, and I cannot stress this enough, an hour and forty minutes long.

0:35 Remaining, Full Course Caution: The order in DPi is now Acura #6, Acura #7, Cadillac #31, and Mazda #55, while GTD remains in the control of Lexus #14, followed by Porsche #73, Lexus #12, and Acura #57. The latter class has had no shuffling because their strategy was not affected by the timing of the caution, while the former, surprisingly, does not see a single car risk staying out and fueling when rain potentially arrives.

0:40 Remaining, Full Course Caution: The entire DPi field is in its pit window to make the race on just one more stop, and Mazda #55 and Nissan #54 dive into the pits for the quick splash they'll need to make the end of the race. Acura #6 follows, and a full course caution for debris from the #10 Cadillac of Jordan Taylor immediately rewards everyone who stopped as soon as possible for doing so.

This seems like a major break for the #77 Mazda, but since that car needed tires, a driver change, and more fuel than the rest of the field, it was in fact a crushing stint for that car, which falls from 2nd all the way to 9th on track.

0:45 Remaining: The #77 Mazda is, unsurprisingly, still stretching its way to a one-stop race, but impressively, it still holds second on track in DPi despite running on old tires with its qualifying driver still behind the wheel. A well-timed splash of rain could get that car in a fantastic position.

0:48 Remaining: The #14 Lexus takes the lead in GTD, and Katherine Legge nearly takes second from the #73 Porsche, but that aggressive move leaves the #57 Acura vulnerable, and Legge drops to fourth, moving the #12 Lexus up to third.

Again, this is a two class race, and one of these classes isn't even scoring points. IMSA is chaos now.

0:50 Remaining: NBC reports rain "about 30 minutes" from the track, certainly a potential problem for a race with 50 minutes remaining. How much chaos can one official class cause in less than two hours?!

In the for-some-reason unofficial GTD race, Jack Hawksworth has the #14 Lexus up to second and fighting for the lead. That car is very fast, and, as previously mentioned, very much the two-door version of a compact luxury sedan.

0:52 Remaining: Back to green, again. The #77 Mazda leads, but hasn't stopped yet, so it's the #6 Cadillac passing the #7 yet again that is effectively the battle for the lead. The #55 Mazda that was running in second overall before those last two cautions is all the way down to fifth on track.

Tristan Nunez slips up in the leading Mazda and Dane Cameron has the #6 Acura in the outright lead.

0:58 Remaining, Full Course Caution: Back to green and the Meyer-Shank Racing Acura NSX #86 has spun into a wall trying to avoid the slower McLaren ahead, causing a larger collision than the one that initially brought out the last safety car. There may have been a mechanical issue with that car, but no matter what happened, that's a race-ending wreck for that entry and another safety car.

1:00 Remaining, Full Course Caution: GTD in now for stops and driver changes. The pro-rated drivers are getting into those cars now, and the top two of Porsche #73, now driven by Patrick Long, and Acura #57, now under the control of Katherine Legge, remain in order. The two AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexuses, which you may note are just based on a compact sedan in a class that also has a McLaren, come out third and fourth, and the Turner Motorsports BMW, which you may note is just based on a full sized coupe in a class that also has a McLaren, comes out in an impressive fifth after a qualifying disqualification from pole left that car on the back of the grid.

1:05 Remaining, Full Course Caution: DPi field into the pits for stops and driver changes. The #7 Acura leapfrogs the podium to take the lead, followed by Acura #6, Cadillac #31, and Mazda #55.

1:07 Remaining, Full Course Caution: What a strange race this is:

Race control has just informed all teams that a local tornado siren test will happen at 1pm 🌪

— CORE autosport (@COREautosport)

1:09 Remaining, Full Course Caution: The #50 Juncos Racing Cadillac is into the wall, and the resulting barrier damage will bring out the safety car. That car doesn't seem particularly damaged, sport only a broken left corner of the removable rear wing structure, but it's still bad news for a Juncos Racing team that just last week was the darling of Indianapolis when it bumped McLaren and Fernando Alonso from that team's first-ever attempt to qualify for an IndyCar race.

1:11 Remaining: Jonathan Bomarito is not patient enough to let a good thing lie and has taken second in an impressively aggressive move around a Lexus GTD entry. The #55 Mazda is through into second, thanks in no small part to Pipo Derani's issues getting the #31 Cadillac past that bit of GT traffic. The whole fracas has granted Juan Pablo Montoya a three second lead.

1:14 Remaining: The DPi leaders are trying to save fuel and aren't taking any risks at the moment, but both Pipo Derani's #31 Cadillac and Jonathan Bomarito's #55 Mazda seem to be quick enough to pass the #6 Acura for the lead once the race opens up. Those three cars are within a second, about three ahead of the #7 Acura in fourth.

The #73 Park Place Porsche has a two second lead in GTD.

1:23 Remaining: While the #63 Ferrari is out of the race, Paul Miller Racing's #48 Lamborghini has continued on from the starting incident with, seemingly, a fully healthy car. The team's strategist has confirmed that the car was given a fuel top off during the safety car period, a marginal advantage of just a few laps of fuel that could come in handy during such a short race.

1:25 Remaining: The #76 McLaren, just the second-ever race for that program, has been penalized for lining up on the wrong side of the grid. An inauspicious start for a particularly interesting GTD program.

1:27 Remaining: Back to green and DPi is happily reminding the world that it can exist on its own. The top three have broken away on the start, with Montoya's #6 Acura holding a pittance of a lead on the #31 Cadillac, which moves past the #55 Mazda just a few corners into the first green flag running of the race.

1:32 Remaining, Full Course Caution: This is a unique race for IMSA, not only because it's less than two hours long but because only one class is actually collecting championship points. This is a normal race for DPi, but for GTD, this represents the beginning of the completely separate, and questionably named, Sprint Cup. Essentially the opposite of the endurance cups all classes have had for years, the Sprint Cup is a sub-championship trophy awarded in GTD for all races of 2 hours and 40 minutes or shorter, and as the pilot race for this program, this has been declared an optional event for the class. The race still sees a healthy twelve cars entered, although after a questionable start just ten remain.

1:40 Remaining, Full Course Caution: We're green heading into turn 1 and Juan Pablo Montoya is clear into the lead in the #6 Penske Acura, but a bad start by Helio Castroneves drops the #7 Acura from second to fourth, behind the #55 Mazda of Jonathan Bomarito and the #31 Action Express Cadillac of Pipo Derani.

In GTD, the polesitting Park Place Porsche has alliterated its way into the lead, but the short field couldn't make it to turn 2 before wrecking. It's the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini and #63 WeatherTech Ferrari in the wall, bringing out the safety car before the race has even begun.

00:00: Welcome to regular season coverage of IMSA's WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Road & Track! It's just like the live blogs you're used to for the 24 Hours of Daytona, but for an entire schedule of IMSA racing! Team Penske's Acuras have locked out the front row in DPi, while a disqualification for Turner Motorsports has left the Park Place Motorsports Porsche on pole in GTD. We'll be going green shortly for a short race with a short, two-class field on a short Grand Prix of Detroit track at Belle Isle.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Motorsports