Chevrolet Dominance At Detroit Challenged By Honda, Mazda In Chevrolet Sports Car Classic
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Undefeated in four races at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, the Corvette DPs enter Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers as a favorite to win Round 5 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

However, strong challenges are expected from Honda and Mazda Prototypes in the 100-minute race on the 2.35-mile street circuit (live on FS1, Saturday, June 4 at 12:30 p.m. ET).

Eric Curran and Dane Cameron are defending winners in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP. They will be joined on the two-car Action Express Racing team by 2012 Detroit Rolex Series winner Joao Barbosa, who co-drives the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP with Christian Fittipaldi.

“Last year was a really special year for us as a new team being able to capture our first win in the Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP, and to be able to do it at Detroit – in GM’s backyard – made it that much better,” said Cameron, who joins Curran atop the Prototype point standings on the heels of three consecutive podium finishes. “This is a big weekend for us; we are looking forward to coming back to Detroit with our sights set on making it a back-to-back win and extending our points lead.”

Jordan Taylor returns with his brother, Ricky, in the 2014-winning Konica Minolta Corvette DP. Jordan Taylor also won the 2013 Rolex Series race in that car with Max Angelelli, in addition to scoring a GT class victory in 2012 driving a Chevrolet Camaro. Another strong Corvette DP team to watch is the No. 90 Visit Florida Racing entry of Ryan Dalziel and Marc Goossens, coming off a second-place finish at Mazda Raceway.

Looking to end the Corvette DP Detroit streak, while extending one of its own, is the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca-winning No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Honda Ligier JS P2. With regular co-driver John Pew in France helping the team prepare for its first entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ozz Negri will co-drive with Panoz DeltaWing Racing regular Katherine Legge. Negri and Pew finished second at Detroit last year.

Mazda Motorsports also takes momentum into Detroit, coming off an impressive outing at Mazda Raceway where the team dominated practice, captured the TOTAL Pole Award and had both cars at the front during the opening hour. Jonathan Bomarito and Tristan Nunez went on to finish fourth in the No. 55 Mazda Prototype, matching the team’s best finish turned in by Tom Long and Joel Miller in the No. 70 Mazda Prototype in the previous race on the streets of Long Beach.

“We were very competitive in Long Beach, so we can take what we learned there and apply that to be even stronger than we were,” Bomarito said. “The performance should translate to Detroit.”

Three Teams Within Two Points In Tight Prototype Challenge Battle

The Prototype Challenge (PC) battle remains up for grabs, with the 2015 Detroit-winning No. 8 Starworks Motorsport ORECA FLM09 of Renger van der Zande and Alex Popow, only two points behind the co-leaders.

Mazda Raceway winners Robert Alon and Tom Kimber-Smith, in the No. 52 Professional Security Consultants/Westfield ORECA, share the lead with Misha Goikhberg and Stephen Simpson, who won the class in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and at Long Beach in the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Hi-Tide Boat Lifts/Red Line Oil entry.

Two-time defending class champions and winners of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida Colin Braun and Jon Bennett co-drive the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite ORECA FLM09.

Other PC entries include the No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports Top 1 Oil ORECA of Tomy Drissi and Johnny Mowlem; the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports entry of James French and Kyle Marcelli; and the second Starworks Motorsport car, the No. 88 Popcorn Sutton ORECA of Mark Kvamme and Ashley Freiberg.

Practice sessions for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic begin at 8:05 a.m. ET and 12:55 p.m. ET on Friday, June 3, followed by qualifying at 5:05 p.m. ET.

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