2024 Detroit GrandPrix25BRENT GROH-

The Indycar LLC and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA ) auto racing sanctioning bodies brought their series’ to Detroit, Michigan over the past weekend.  This is the second year that Indycar has returned to the streets of the Motor City, while IMSA held the rookie position.

The action was hot and heavy with Porsche Penske Motorsports 963’s claiming P1 and P2 qualifying positions over rivals #01 Cadillac Racing and the #10 WTR/Andretti Acura in the Grand Touring Prototype ( GTP ) class. Similarly, both of the Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports cars topped the Grand Touring Daytona (GTDPRO) class for Saturday’s Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Classic race.


Antonio Garcia posted the best qualifying lap time of 1 minute 9.09 seconds  ( 87.71 mph ) in the #3 Corvette around the downtown course consisting of nine turns across the 1.645 mile circuit with a major straight away running along the scenic Detroit River.

Come race time, it was Ricky Taylor taking over the wheel from co-driver Filipe Albuquerque and making a daring late pass in his Acura ARX-06 around race leader Mathieu Jaminet’s Porsche, to give the Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti the win.

In the GTD PRO class, Antonio Garcia’s Corvette was forced to pit with alternator problems shortly after the start followed by Nicky Catsburg’s Corvette being sent off after some contact with Ben Barnicoat’s Vasser Sullivan Lexus. This opened the door for Seb Priaulx and Laurin Heinrich to guide their AO Racing “REXY” Porsche 911 GT3R to back to back wins after their previous victory at the Motul Course de Monterey.

Louis Foster won the pole for the INDY NXT by Firestone race and showed his dominance by leading all 45 laps of the race. Driving the #26 Copart/Novara Technologies car for Andretti Global racing to his second win of the season, Foster jumped to the second spot in the series standings, just 25 points behind leader Jacob Abel.  Foster was flanked on the podium by Caio Collet ( 2nd ) and Callum Hedge ( 3rd ) , two HMD Motorsport’s rookie drivers.

Controversy surrounded the finish, when fourth place driver Myles Rowe appeared to have passed Hedge, but the move was ruled to have happened after the race ending yellow caution period had started.

The action heated up even more on Saturday afternoon, when NTT Indycar drivers #27 Kyle Kirkwood and #14 Santino Ferrucci had some on track action during their final practice session. The incident flared when Ferrucci confronted Kirkwood in his pit box after the practice.

We’re in practice, and I’m on a lap that’s going to put us P3,” exclaimed Ferrucci. “I know everybody is fighting traffic. I’m coming down the hill, and who just turns into somebody and slides the car into you? It’s such a dickish move.” Instead of a potential P3 position, the

AJ Foyt Enterprises Sexton Properties car ended up in 20th.

Ferrucci’s problems continued when on the opening lap of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, he re-ended #12 Will Power from behind, spinning  him out and causing a six car pile-up. The incident was declared a racing incident by Indycar officials with no violations issued. However, a few laps later, Ferrucci got involved with #66  Helio Castroneves & #4 Kyffin Simpson. This time he was assessed a penalty for avoidable contact.

With over half the race operated under yellow flag, the devastation included series leader Alex Palou, pole-sitter Colton Herta, and last week’s Indianapolis 500 champion Josef Newgarden.  This opened the door for Scott Dixon, who avoided all of the crashes, to drive a near perfect race for his 58th Indycar Series win.   Andretti Global’s Marcus Ericsson finished second with Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing’s teammate Marcus Armstrong placing third.

Armstrong later revealed that he lost second place to the charging Ericsson on the final lap because he ran out of fuel right as he crossed the finish line.  “Ultimately on the last stint, I was having to achieve quite a big fuel number, as was Scott,” reflected Armstrong. “I actually ran out of fuel as I came across the line, so we timed it perfectly. Otherwise, I would have fought Marcus a little bit harder in the end. It was necessary just to sort of coast in and take a podium.” Explained the 2023 Rookie of the Year.

With the win and the other devastation, Dixon now sits at the top of the NTT Indycar points standing with 216 points. An eighteen point lead over second place Alex Palou.

Next week, the NTT Indycar series moves to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the XPEL Grand Prix at Road America, while the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship cars can be seen at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International on June 20-23rd.   Closer to home, the NTT Indycar series makes in annual stop in Toronto on July 19-21st for the Ontario Honda Dealers Indy Toronto. You can catch the IMSA cars again on July 12-14th at the Chevrolet Grand Prix at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.

All photos by Brent Groh


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