Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Kevin Magnussen and Renger van der Zande drove the No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R to the win in today’s running of the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship Chevrolet Sports Car Classic Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle Park.
At the drop of the green flag on the 100-minue IMSA WeatherTech race Magnussen had the measure of the field. The Dane was able to keep the 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R in the lead the entire race. Under hot conditions and running the bumpy island circuit he handed the car to Renger Van Der Zande who had to navigate a restart and bring the car home to the checker for the team’s first win with the brand.
“I haven’t won a race since 2013 and it feels great,” Magnussen said. “The whole season we have been fast, but just not getting it to the end. We led a lot of laps this year and finally the right laps. Chip Ganassi Racing had an impressive weekend (referring to the win in IndyCar earlier in the day). I was happy to contribute to that with a win as well.
“Coming here and knowing I was going to be able to fight for wins was a real privilege. To go racing with this awesome car at these awesome tracks with this team is a dream. I feel very fortunate and blessed to be able to do that. To come out of this weekend with the big trophy it’s pretty special. I am back in a winning situation and really enjoying it.”
“Having a Brazilian behind you is never easy,” van der Zande said. “We controlled the race. Kevin did a mega job in qualifying to get us to the front. We just kept control of it. You have to be lucky at street tracks not having crazy yellows at the wrong time. I think IMSA did a good job giving everyone a chance controlling the yellows. The car was really nice. We had the Cadillac set-up really well. The team gives you a lot of confidence so I can do what I do and that’s drive cars fast. The win on the home soil of GM, very proud.”
“Obviously a big day for the team,” Chip Ganassi, team owner, said. “I don’t think it is any secret that this team was put together at the last minute in the fall of 2020. It is really special to have an availability of talent, like the guys to my right, that want to come and drive for you. I couldn’t be prouder of these two and the work they put in over the winter. They are the kind of teammates you like to have and the kind of people you want to have in your organization. I think they have a great future in the sport.”
Pipo Derani took the start in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R from third. He was able to drive to second place by the second turn after the green. He put pressure on Magnussen for the lead. Felipe Nasr took over with 47 minutes remaining and followed van der Zande out of the pits for the only stop of the race. He was able to keep the red Cadillac close, but never close enough to attempt a pass.
“I feel like their car [No. 01 Cadillac] was always better on the restarts,” Nasr said. “You could see it on Pipo’s restart as well. They would make a gap. We seemed to have a better tire on longer stints. But I feel like they were pretty good on the restarts.
“It was a fast-paced race. Although I hate to come in second as a driver, I’m happy for Cadillac because we got a 1-2 finish here in Detroit. We couldn’t be here last year. So, it was so great to see the fans and the fans are full of energy. I’m so glad we’re able to put it together. Thanks to IMSA and all the sponsors involved. It was awesome to be back here. I simply love this track. But hey, it was good for the points – looking ahead to the Championship. We got back-to-back podium finishes coming off the race at Mid-Ohio. It’s pretty satisfying, but at the same time we still have to work.”
Tristan Vautier showed the speed of the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R racing to third in the first few laps of the race. He was balked by a slower GT car that allowed the Mazda to overtake. Teammate Loic Duval was in a battle during his 47-minute stint to hold off the charging Acura for fifth place.
“It was good,” Vautier said. “After yesterday I pushed really hard at the start to shake things off and I was able to get up to P3 at the start. I struggled to keep with the pace of the leaders. The two lead cars were in a league of the their own. A GT car blocked me really bad and allowed the Mazda to get around me. We lost the third spot and that put us a bit on the back foot for the pit sequence. I think the four of us from P3 for P6 were kind of the same. We need to find the pace of the 01 and 31 for the next weekend.
Cadillac IMSA Detroit Results:1. No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, Renger van der Zande and Kevin Magnussen
2. No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani
5. No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, Tristan Vautier and Loic Duval
The IMSA WeatherTech Championship will travel to upstate New York for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, June 24-27.
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing/Photo. Cadillac/Richard Prince