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Race report
IMSA Detroit

IMSA Detroit: WTR-Andretti Acura ambushes Porsche to win chaotic race

Acura’s Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor won the fifth round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, a chaotic 100-minute sprint event in Detroit featuring five cautions.

#10: Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti, Acura ARX-06, GTP: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

On the series’ debut on the tight and twisty 1.654-mile, nine-turn temporary street circuit in downtown Detroit, Taylor beat Porsche’s Mathieu Jaminet after pulling off a great overtaking move inside the final 25 minutes in GTP.

AO Racing’s Seb Priaulx and Laurin Heinrich won the GTD Pro class.

After the pair of factory-backed Porsche Penske Motorsport 963s swept the front row in qualifying, poleman Nick Tandy’s #6 car led Dane Cameron’s #7 entry to the green flag.

Albuquerque’s #10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06 braked late and went around the outside of a cautious Cameron at the opening turn to grab second, as Sebastien Bourdais (#01 Chip Ganassi Racing-run Cadillac V-Series.R) went down Cameron's inside to claim third.

The full-course yellow caution flew at the end of the opening lap as Harry Tincknell’s GTD class Ford Mustang ground to a halt before even making the first corner.

At the restart, Tandy led Albuquerque, Bourdais, Cameron and the two BMW M Hybrid V8s of Philipp Eng and Nick Yelloly. But Eng was soon given a drive-through penalty, losing his hard-earned fifth place for changing lanes before the start.

Tandy pulled away, despite battling with a malfunctioning radio, leaving Albuquerque, Bourdais and Cameron to scrap over second. Pipo Derani, who crashed in qualifying, exited the #31 Action Express-run Cadillac after 10 minutes to hand over to Jack Aitken in a bold strategy play.

After 25 minutes, and having predicted issues in GTD Pro traffic ahead of the race, Tandy outbraked himself at Turn 3 and punted factory Ferrari racer Daniel Serra’s Conquest Racing 296 into a spin. The collision led to a drive-through penalty for the race leader.

#6 Team Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Nick Tandy, Mathieu Jaminet

#6 Team Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Nick Tandy, Mathieu Jaminet

Photo by: Brett Farmer / Motorsport Images

“I just missed when they were checking up, I apologise to them,” said Tandy, who explained he was fiddling with his radio leads as he couldn’t hear his pits clearly.

That left Albuquerque leading Bourdais and Cameron, before Bourdais dived for the pits after 30 minutes to hand over to Renger van der Zande. The call was made late, however, and Bourdais hadn’t loosened his belts, which led to a slow driver change.

Albuquerque pitted to hand over to Ricky Taylor a lap later, and he rejoined with an extended advantage. Cameron went a lap longer before stopping to hand off to Felipe Nasr, who rejoined ahead of Taylor.

Yelloly ran longer in the lead and pitted after 37 minutes. He handed over to Connor De Phillippi, who promptly stuffed the car into the Turn 3 tyre stack on his out lap.

That cycled the penalised Tandy back to the lead, and he rattled off a sequence of fastest laps. He dived into the pits to hand over to Jaminet just before the second caution period, as De Phillippi crashed his BMW again, smashing its left-rear corner against the Turn 2 wall.

Jaminet rejoined in the lead, ahead of stable-mate Nasr, Ricky Taylor, van der Zande and Jesse Krohn in the surviving #24 BMW. But Nasr had to pit under yellow to switch a punctured tyre, dropping him from second to eighth.

The race restarted with 47 minutes remaining, with Nasr immediately gaining three spots by driving the outside of Richard Westbrook’s JDC-Miller Porsche 963, Gianmaria Bruni’s Proton-run variant and Krohn’s BMW at Turn 3. He then sliced past Louis Deletraz’s #40 Acura (shared with Jordan Taylor) further around the lap.

But the race was quickly neutralised once again, when Westbrook was pushed into a spin by Aitken and blocked the track.

#10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

#10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque

Photo by: Brett Farmer / Motorsport Images

The race went green again just past the hour mark, with Jaminet scampering away from Ricky Taylor, van der Zande and Nasr. Taylor stayed within a second of the leader, as van der Zande and Nasr fell away.

Taylor grabbed the lead at Turn 3 with 25 minutes to go, making a bold lunge down the inside of the hairpin, after Jaminet had been slightly hampered while lapping a GTD Mustang.

The yellow flew again with 20 minutes to go to deal with a debris that was accruing on the main straight. It went green again with 15 minutes to go, with Jaminet keen to avenge Taylor, while Nasr attacked van der Zande.

Bruni made a move on Krohn to snatch sixth, with Aitken following suit. But as Bruni attacked Deletraz, he was tagged by Aitken and slammed into the wall approaching Turn 4. That led to a fifth caution, as Bruni’s car was stranded.

Taylor survived the final restart with seven minutes remaining to record the #10 Acura’s first win since Road America in 2022.

Disaster for Corvette, Porsche beats battered Lexus in GTD Pro

In GTD Pro, under the shadows of General Motors’ giant Renaissance Center towers that dominate the skyline here, the pressure was on Chevrolet’s Corvette squad to perform.

After scoring a 1-2 in qualifying, Antonio Garcia’s #3 Corvette Z06 GT3.R led Tommy Milner’s #4 to the green, ahead of Jack Hawksworth (#14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F) and Seb Priaulx in AO Racing’s #77 Porsche 911 GT3 R.

But it all went wrong almost immediately for Garcia, who pitted at the end of the opening lap with an alternator issue.

#77 AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R: Laurin Heinrich, Sebastian Priaulx

#77 AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R: Laurin Heinrich, Sebastian Priaulx

Photo by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

New leader Milner handed over to Nicky Catsburg after 40 minutes, changing just one tyre during the stop. Ben Barnicoat took over from Hawksworth in the Lexus, with Laurin Heinrich in for Priaulx in the ‘Rexy’ Porsche.

Straight after a mid-race restart, leaders Barnicoat and Catsburg clashed at Turn 3, the Lexus punting the Corvette into a spin after hitting the inside wall.

That promoted Heinrich (who had tagged the spun Corvette and suffered splitter damage) to the lead, but he had to come to a halt to avoid the spun Westbrook, and was almost collected by Barnicoat – who continued in second despite pieces falling off.

Barnicoat successfully battled bent steering and a loose hood to chase Heinrich to the finish, while the Pfaff McLaren 720S of Marvin Kirchhofer was set to take third when he was punted off by Alex Riberas (Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage) at Turn 3 in the closing stages.

IMSA Detroit Results

   
1
 - 
4
   
   
1
 - 
2
   
Cla Drivers # Chassis Laps Time Interval Pits Points Retirement
1 United States R. Taylor Portugal F. Albuquerque Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti 10 Acura ARX-06 75

-

  4    
2 United Kingdom N. Tandy France M. Jaminet Porsche Penske Motorsport 6 Porsche 963 75

+1.132

1.132

1.132 3    
3 Netherlands R. van der Zande France S. Bourdais Cadillac Racing 01 Cadillac V-Series.R 75

+4.198

4.198

3.066 3    
4 United States D. Cameron Brazil F. Nasr Porsche Penske Motorsport 7 Porsche 963 75

+5.142

5.142

0.944 3    
5 United States J. Taylor Switzerland L. Deletraz Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti 40 Acura ARX-06 75

+10.120

10.120

4.978 4    
6 Brazil P. Derani United Kingdom J. Aitken Whelen Cadillac Racing 31 Cadillac V-Series.R 75

+10.359

10.359

0.239 6    
7 Finland J. Krohn Austria P. Eng BMW M Team RLL 24 BMW M Hybrid V8 75

+10.793

10.793

0.434 5    
8 Netherlands T. van der Helm United Kingdom R. Westbrook JDC/Miller Motorsports 85 Porsche 963 74

1 lap

  5    
9 Germany L. Heinrich
S. Priaulx AO Racing
77 Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 74

1 lap

  3    
10 United Kingdom J. Hawksworth United Kingdom B. Barnicoat Vasser Sullivan 14 Lexus RC F GT3 74

1 lap

  3    
11 United Kingdom R. Gunn Spain A. Riberas Heart Of Racing Team 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo 74

1 lap

  3    
12 Canada P. Thompson United States F. Montecalvo Vasser Sullivan 15 Lexus RC F GT3 74

1 lap

  3    
13 United States B. Sellers United States M. Snow Paul Miller Racing 1 BMW M4 GT3 74

1 lap

  4    
14 United States J. Hand Germany D. Muller Ford Multimatic Motorsports 65 Ford Mustang GT3 73

2 laps

  7    
15 Brazil D. Serra
A. Costa Conquest Racing
35 Ferrari 296 GT3 72

3 laps

  3    
16 Germany M. Kirchhofer United Kingdom O. Jarvis Pfaff Motorsports 9 McLaren 720S GT3 EVO 71

4 laps

  4    
17 United States T. Milner Netherlands N. Catsburg Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports 4 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R 69

6 laps

  6    
18 Italy G. Bruni Netherlands B. Viscaal Proton Competition 5 Porsche 963 65

10 laps

  3    
19 Spain A. Garcia United Kingdom A. Sims Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports 3 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R 59

16 laps

  6    
20 United Kingdom H. Tincknell Germany M. Rockenfeller Ford Multimatic Motorsports 64 Ford Mustang GT3 51

24 laps

  4    
dnf United States C. de Phillippi United Kingdom N. Yelloly BMW M Team RLL 25 BMW M Hybrid V8 33

42 laps

  3   Retirement

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