28 Cars Entered for Belle Isle

Scuderia Corsa Ferrari competes in Belle Isle IMSA race
Photo: Zach Wenzel / The Apex

The Raceway at Belle Isle Park is set to host 28 total Prototype, Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona machines as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship makes its annual stop in the Motor City.

The entry list for the second of two 100-minute street circuit races on the WeatherTech Championship calendar features seven fewer cars than converged on the streets of Long Beach in April due to the absence of the GT Le Mans class in Detroit.

Prototype

The seven teams that field the 10 new-for-2017 cars that comprise the flagship Prototype class are slated to give their new DPi and LMP2 cars their Detroit debuts.

Seven DPis in Detroit

The 10-car field is led off by the undefeated Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R of Wayne Taylor Racing. Brothers Jordan and Ricky Taylor remain undefeated through four races with the brand-new car thus far in 2017 and will look to go five for five in the shadow of General Motors’ headquarters.

Action Express Racing will mount a direct battle to the Taylors’ Cadillac with a pair of Cadillac-powered, DPi-compliant entries of their own.

No. 31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP races on Belle Isle
Photo: Zach Wenzel / The Apex

Action Express and Wayne Taylor Racing are the only teams to win in the premier class on Belle Isle since the event’s return in 2012.

Jordan Taylor has won overall in three of the last four years, driving with Max Angelelli in 2014 and with his brother in 2014 and 2016. Dane Cameron and Eric Curran of Action Express’ No. 31 entry won in 2015 for the team’s first win at the track since 2012.

Joining the trio of Cadillacs in the DPi ranks will be Mazda Motorsports and Tequila Patron ESM.

The new Mazda RT24-P will run for its first time in Detroit after its predecessor, the Mazda Prototype, earned its first Prototype podium by finishing fourth overall on Belle Isle last year.

This year’s Detroit race will mark Tequila Patron ESM’s first visit to Belle Isle since 2014, when the team ran a pair of HPD ARX-03b cars. With Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel driving the team’s No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi while Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek share the sister No. 22 entry, the team will run the exact same driver lineups as in 2014.

Global LMP2 Cars Landing on Belle Isle

PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, JDC-Miller Motorsports and Visit Florida Racing are the three teams that have elected to run global-spec LMP2 cars in IMSA competition during their first year of eligibility, and each team is set to run their new car on the bumpy Belle Isle circuit for their first time.

Visit Florida, Tequila Patron ESM Prototype cars during COTA IMSA race
Photo: Brian Cleary / Visit Florida Racing

Tom Kimber-Smith will return to the No. 52 Ligier JS P217 of the PR1/Mathiasen team after relinquishing his seat to Marco Bonanomi for the recent visit to Circuit of The Americas. Jose Gutierrez will remain in the car’s second driver slot.

The John Church-led JDC-Miller team, another former PC team, will run Misha Goikhberg and Stephen Simpson in its Gibson-powered ORECA 07 at Detroit. The duo suffered a nightmare weekend in PC at Detroit last year, completing only 18 of the 57 laps run by the victorious Starworks Motorsport entry.

The No. 90 Riley Mk. 30 of the Visit Florida team will be shared by Marc Goossens and Renger van der Zande, one year after van der Zande took the PC win last year on Belle Isle in the Starworks car alongside Alex Popow.

Prototype Challenge

The dominant Performance Tech Motorsports team leads off the PC entry list for the upcoming Detroit round.

James French and Pato O’Ward will begin the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic weekend undefeated so far this year in their Chevrolet-powered ORECA FLM09.

BAR1 Motorsports is the only other team fielding PC entries for the weekend. Don Yount and Ryan Lewis are slated to drive the team’s No. 20 car while the No. 26 is yet to have any drivers assigned to it.

GT Daytona

As the lone category of GT cars racing on Belle Isle during the renamed Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear weekend, the GTD class will bring 15 cars to the temporary paddock in Detroit.

The 15 GT3-spec cars will be powered by engines manufactured by eight different brands, including Acura, Lexus and Mercedes whose cars will debut in Detroit next weekend.

WeatherTech Racing Mercedes GTD car corners at Long Beach IMSA race
Photo: WeatherTech Racing

After winning at Detroit last year in a Dodge Viper, Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen will return to the Motor City still under the Riley Motorsports moniker but now in the cockpit of a Mercedes-AMG GT3. The pair has two victories already in 2017 after coming out on top at Sebring and winning at COTA last time out.

WeatherTech Racing’s own Mercedes-AMG GT3 won in GTD at Long Beach between Riley’s Sebring and COTA wins, meaning the car enters Detroit having won the last three races.

3GT Racing, based in Lansing, Michigan will field its Lexus RC F GT3 cars in its home race after failing to debut the car on Belle Isle last year.

Six days after running Jack Harvey at the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500, Michael Shank Racing’s two-car Acura NSX GT3 program will turn its first laps on Belle Isle as the third of the three new GTD programs this year.

The pre-event entry list for Belle Isle last year also featured 15 GTD entries, though only 13 cars participated.

The 100-minute Chevrolet Sports Car Classic race will be televised live on FOX Sports 2 beginning at 12:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 3.

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