Extra GTD PRO entries bolster Detroit IMSA field

The GTD PRO entry list for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, the fifth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, grows by two from its normal sprint race size with the addition of two GTD teams joining the fray. The extras bring the total entry for the June 1 GTP and GTD Pro-only contest to 21.

Vasser Sullivan Racing is bringing both its Lexus RC F GT3s to Detroit, and classing the normal GTD pairing of Parker Thompson and Frankie Montecalvo as a PRO entry. Vasser Sullivan also ran two cars at Long Beach in GTD, rearranging its driver lineup to do so, and Thompson and Barnicoat took the victory there.

Conquest Racing is usually competing in GTD with Manny Franco and Albert Costa Balboa. For Detroit, it’s putting Ferrari ace Daniel Serra in Franco’s place in the No. 35 Ferrari 296 GT3 to run GTD PRO, marking one of the few, if not only, appearances of a Ferrari in GTD PRO in a sprint race this season.


With no conflict with the World Endurance Championship for the Detroit round, Heart of Racing will be back it its regular GTD PRO lineup of Ross Gunn and Alex Riberas in the NO. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo.

The rest of the GTD PRO field is as usual as they head into their only race without GTD traffic to deal with. Seb Priaulx and Laurin Heinrich lead the GTD PRO points heading into Detroit, courtesy of a victory in the AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The AO Racing pair has 981 points to 925 for Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth as the defending champions look for their second victory of the season. The Paul Miller Racing duo of Madison Snow and Bryan Sellers are third at 888.

GTP will have its usual complement of 10 cars, two cars each for the factory teams for Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche, plus the two privateer Porsche 963s from JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition. Proton retains its Laguna Seca lineup of Bent Viscaal alongside Gianmaria Bruni.

Felipe Nasr and Dane Cameron lead the GTP standings for Porsche Penske Motorsports with 1,357 points coming into Detroit, followed by Whelen Cadillac Racing’s Pipo Derani and Jack Aitken with 1,307 and Renger van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais at 1,269 for Cadillac Racing. Four different GTP teams have won the four races so far this season; GTD PRO has had three different winners in the three races the class has been featured.

The 1.654-mil, nine-turn temporary street circuit in downtown Detroit will be new for all the IMSA teams, although the NTT IndyCar Series with which the WeatherTech Championship shares the bill christened it last year, supported by the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GS class. The last time the WeatherTech Championship raced in Detroit, it was on the Belle Isle circuit in 2022. Bourdais and van der Zande won that race for Cadillac in DPi, and Barnicoat and Kyle Kirkwood won GTD for Vasser Sullivan and Lexus.

Bourdais and van der Zande won at Long Beach in April, so perhaps a bit of street-circuit prowess will carry over for Detroit; but Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti’s Jordan Taylor has more victories in Detroit than any other driver. There is one driver in the GTD PRO field who has experience on this circuit, Ford Multimatic Motorsports’ Joey Hand, who ran the Michelin Pilot Challenge race last year.

Two practice sessions will be followed by qualifying on Friday, May 31. The 1h40m race is scheduled for a green flag on Saturday, June 1 at 3:10pm ET. Qualifying coverage will be on Peacock and at 4:35pm ET on Friday, and the race will be broadcast live on USA Network beginning at 3pm ET, as well as Peacock. IMSA radio ( and will feature commentary during each session, qualifying and race.


Story originally appeared on Racer