Cameron and Curran Win at Belle Isle
After an exciting and record breaking qualifications, the Belle Isle Grand Prix started under sunny skies but finished under increasing rain which began falling entering the final hour. Christian Fittipaldi held a comfortable lead until the first caution at the 33-minute mark for an incident involving the No. 33 ViperExchange.com Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R driven by Ben Keating. Barbosa led following a full round of pit stops, followed by Richard Westbrook in the VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP. Taylor took the lead on the restart, but Cameron worked his way through the field before taking the lead on Lap 41 and led the final 19 circuits.
Jordan Taylor, looking for his fourth consecutive event victory and third for Wayne Taylor Racing’s Konica Minolta Corvette DP, was issued a drive-through penalty in the final 10 minutes for contact with Townsend Bell in No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia. Taylor, co-driving with his brother Ricky, came back to finish seventh.
Ozz Negri took second on the final lap in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2/Honda started by John Pew, denying Action Express Racing a 1-2 finish. Joao Barbosa spun in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP started from the pole by Christian Fittipaldi, but recovered to finish third.
In Prototype Challenge class, Mirco Schultis and Renger van der Zande drove a flawless race to score their first victory of the season in the No. 8 Martini ORECA FLM09, while misfortune struck the top three contenders in the championship. Starworks spoiled a strong showing by Performance Tech Motorsports, with James French winning his first TOTAL Pole Award in the No. 38 Ric-Man Detroit ORECA FLM09, and new co-driver James Vance leading the opening 55 laps before van der Zande took the lead. Five laps later, Stephen Simpson took second in the No. 85 JDC/Miller Motorsports UndergroundCellar.com/Young Marines ORECA. Vance held on for third.
Prototype Challenge points leader Jon Bennett had contact with runner-up Mike Guasch on the opening lap, with the No. 54 CORE autosport Flex-Box ORECA losing four laps for repairs. While Guasch was able to continue, his No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA was damaged midway through the event when co-driver Tom Kimber-Smith tagged the spinning No. 11 RSR Racing AutoMax USA ORECA of Bruno Junqueira, a car started by Chris Cumming. Colin Braun was able to take over for Bennett, eventually finishing fourth.
In GT Daytona class, running in the sixth position, Ian James pitted under green early in the race. The first full-course caution came out one lap following his stop. While the GTD leaders pitted for the lone pit stop of the race, co-driver Mario Farnbacher found himself in the lead. He never looked back, leading until the end of the race. The quickest lap of 1:33.086 for the team came on lap 45 of 57 circuits. Christina Nielsen and James Davison in the No. 007 Aston Martin Vantage were on second while pole bearer Dion Von Moltke and his co-driver Christopher Haase finished third.
The next event for the TUDOR Championship will be the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on Sunday, June 28. All four classes will be in action in the race, which serves as the third round of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.