IMSA Detroit: Magnussen, van der Zande take commanding maiden Ganassi win

Kevin Magnussen and Renger van der Zande drove a perfectly judged race at the IMSA SportsCar Championship's Detroit round to take a well-deserved maiden victory for Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing.

#01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi: Renger van der Zande, Kevin Magnussen

All-Brazilian pair Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr had to settle for a close second-place finish, for the second successive race, aboard their similar Whelen Engineering/Action Express Cadillac DPi-V.R

After taking pole position in qualifying on Friday, albeit by a scant 0.021 sec from Harry Tincknell’s Mazda, ex-Formula 1 driver Magnussen took control of the 100-minute race right from the green flag, which had been delayed more than an hour following Felix Rosenqvist’s terrifying IndyCar accident earlier in the afternoon, and never looked back.

Pipo Derani jumped Tincknell at the start to move into second, but Magnussen extended his advantage to around four seconds before making his one and only pit stop with around 46 minutes remaining.

Van der Zande was relatively content to allow Nasr to close in after both teams had made their driver changes, especially given the fact that overtaking is notoriously difficult between such closely matched cars, and even more so on the unforgiving temporary circuit.

A late full-course caution after the gearbox gave up the ghost on Bill Auberlen’s GTD BMW added a little extra spice, but van der Zande kept his cool and the lead to take the flag just over half a second clear of Nasr.

Ricky Taylor extended his first stint aboard his father Wayne’s Konica Minolta Acura a lap longer than some of the other contenders, which allowed Filipe Albuquerque to leapfrog from fifth to third for the final portion of the race.

#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 Acura DPi: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 Acura DPi: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

The Portuguese driver remained under intense scrutiny from both Oliver Jarvis, who had taken over from Tincknell, and the Cadillac of Tristan Vautier and Loic Duval all the way to the finish line.

The WTR Acura duo thereby extended their championship lead to 71 points as the series heads next to the altogether different challenge of the Watkins Glen Six Hours at the end of the month.

Richard Heistand and Jeff Westphal, both previous GTD winners in Detroit, initially triumphed again on Belle Isle in only their second race together with the Carbahn with Peregrine Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3, but the entry was taken out of the results due to a post-race penalty.

That handed the GTD class win to the Heart of Racing Aston Martin of Roman de Angelis and Ross Gunn to take the lead in the GTD Sprint Cup series, elevated to victory after it emerged that the Peregrine team's refuelling time was shorter than the specified minimum time.

This also lifted the Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan of Marco Mapelli and Misha Goikhberg to second, and the Gradient Racing Acura NSX, driven by Marc Miller and Till Bechtolsheimer to third.

Cla Num Driver Chassis Time Gap
1 01 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Cadillac DPi 1:40'02.674  
2 31 Brazil Felipe Nasr
Brazil Pipo Derani
Cadillac DPi 1:40'03.247 0.573
3 10 United States Ricky Taylor
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Acura DPi 1:40'06.702 4.028
4 55 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
Mazda DPi 1:40'07.550 4.876
5 5 France Tristan Vautier
France Loic Duval
Cadillac DPi 1:40'07.856 5.182
6 60 United States Dane Cameron
France Olivier Pla
Acura DPi 1:40'08.099 5.425
7 4 United States Tommy Milner
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
Corvette C8.R 1:40'21.158 3 Laps
8 3 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
Corvette C8.R 1:40'21.384 3 Laps
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