Home Other Sports News Recap: Friday At The 2024 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix

Recap: Friday At The 2024 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix

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Photo Credit: Andrew Cucchiara

Detroit, MI—-Returning for its second consecutive year, IndyCar once again graces the streets of Detroit, ready to conquer the challenging 1.7-mile, 9-turn circuit. Last year’s debut 100-lap race on the downtown Detroit track saw a remarkable turnout, with an estimated 150,000 enthusiastic fans attending the event throughout the weekend.

Fresh off the adrenaline of the renowned Indy 500, teams swiftly transition to Detroit, with race winner Josef Newgarden setting the pace during Practice 1 with a lap time of 1:02.2377s, securing the 6th spot for the day. Meanwhile, Alex Palou, leading the championship points, aims to defend his Detroit title, clocking the fastest time at 1:01.721s.

However, Championship runner-up Will Power finds himself further down the order at 9th, posting a time of 1:02.4474s. Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta complete the top 3. With one more practice session scheduled for tomorrow at 9 am, teams gear up for the critical qualifying session in the early afternoon, setting the stage for Sunday’s Detroit GP.

IMSA: Adding to the weekend’s excitement, the Pro classes from the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship join IndyCar on the track. The GTP and GTD-Pro cars kicked off the action with their first practice session, witnessing the #6 Porsche Penske 963, piloted by Nick Tandy, leading the pack with a swift lap time of 1:06.899s around the Detroit circuit.

Photo Credit: Andrew Cucchiara

Ben Barnicoat of Vasser Sullivan Racing showcased dominance in the GTD Pro class, setting the pace with a time of 1:11.487s aboard the Lexus RC f GT3. Teams focused on mastering the intricate Detroit course as they navigated the track for the first time this weekend.

As the day progressed, teams returned for Free Practice 2, witnessing the #24 BMW M Hybrid V8, driven by Philip Eng and representing BMW M Team RLL, topping the GTP times with a blazing lap of 1:06.348s, closely followed by the #6 Penske Porsche 963 (1:06.448s) and Sebatian Bourdais in the #01 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R GTP (1:06.470s).

In the GTD Pro category, Joey Hand in the Ford Mustang GT3 from Multimatic Motorsports claimed the lead with a time of 1:10.730s, trailed by the Pfaff Motorsports McLaren 720S GT2 Evo of Michael Kirchofer (1:10.783s) and Mike Rockenfeller in the second Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT3.

As the sun began to set, teams battled it out in qualifying, benefitting from improved track conditions with more rubber laid down. The Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 GTPs dominated, securing the front row with a stunning time of 1:05.390s for the #6 car and 1:05.514s for the #7. The #01 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R, driven by Renger van der Zande and Sebatian Bourdais, secured the 3rd spot with a time of 1:05.762s.

Photo Credit: Andrew Cucchiara

In the GTD Pro class, Pratt Miller Motorsports showcased their prowess, claiming both front row spots with times of 1:09.092s and 1:09.428s for the #3 and #4 cars, respectively. The VasserSullivan Lexus RC F GT3, piloted by Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat, will start 3rd. The 100-lap Chevy Detroit Sports Car Classic kicks off tomorrow at 3:10pm EST.

Fast Facts

** The Detroit track stands as the shortest on the IndyCar calendar, spanning 1.645 miles.

** Notably, the Detroit venue features a unique split pit lane, with teams divided between the north and south sides.

** The race serves as a homecoming for Penske Racing, with Roger Penske and Penske Corporation rooted in Michigan.

** Chevrolet, headquartered at the RenCen, situated within the track’s perimeter, also celebrates its home race.

** Detroit marks the 6th race out of 17 and the 3rd of 5 street courses for IndyCar in 2024.

** Top speeds on the 0.9-mile stretch of Jefferson Ave are anticipated to exceed 180 mph.

** This event marks the inaugural race for the WeatherTech Championship on Detroit streets and the first sports car series to do so.

** It also serves as the final race before the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans for Cadillac Racing, Action Express, and Porsche Penske Motorsport.

** Pratt Miller Motorsports, based in Lyon Township, MI, fields two fan-favorite Corvette Z06 GT3Rs.