IMSA Sports Car Classic at Detroit Saturday: How to watch, start times, schedule, entry list

IMSA Detroit start TV schedule
IMSA
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After a 2020 cancellation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will return to the Belle Isle Raceway street course this weekend for the fourth round of its 2021 schedule.

With DPi and GTD racing for points (GTLM will be running an exhibition event), the 100-minute Chevrolet Sports Car Classic will be one of the two shortest races in 2021 (the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in September also will be one hour, 40 minutes). This will be the second round of the GTD Sprint Cup, which will be contested over eight non-endurance races.

Despite the distance, each team will be required to make a driver swap. Though a nonpoints event, the Nos. 3 and 4 Corvette Racing C8.Rs will be racing in Detroit for the first time since 2008.

Here are the start times, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park in Detroit (all times are ET):


IMSA Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park in Detroit start times, schedule, TV info

When: Saturday, 5:10 p.m.

Race distance: One hour, 40 minutes on the 14-turn, 2.3-mile street course

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 82 degrees with a 24% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the field for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic


RACE BROADCAST IMSA DETROIT

TV:  5 p.m., NBCSN; NBCSports.com, NBC Sports App. Dave Burns will be on play by play with analysts Calvin Fish and Steve Letarte. Parker Kligerman and Dillon Welch are the pit reporters.

TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold Coverage: Flag to flag beginning at 5 p.m.

Race streaming: NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold

IMSA Radio: All sessions live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin Saturday at 5 p.m. (XM392, Internet 992)


DAILY SCHEDULE IMSA DETROIT

Here’s a rundown of the IMSA Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park in Detroit:

Friday, June 11

8-9:30 a.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Noon-1:40 p.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

3:30-4:35 p.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

Saturday, June 12

10:10-10:30 a.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship warmup

5:10-6:50 p.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race, NBCSN

Cadillac, Acura battle for top speed as cars back on track for Rolex 24 at Daytona practice

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The new hybrid prototypes of Cadillac and Acura battled atop the speed chart as practice resumed Thursday for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Richard Westbrook was fastest Thursday afternoon in the No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh with a 1-minute, 35.185-second lap around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway.

That pace topped Ricky Taylor’s 1:35.366 lap that topped the Thursday morning session that marked the first time the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was back on track since qualifying Sunday afternoon that concluded the four-day Roar Before The Rolex 24 test.

In a final session Thursday night, Matt Campbell was fastest (1:35.802) in the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsports Porsche 963 but still was off the times set by Westbrook and Taylor.

Punctuated by Tom Blomqvist’s pole position for defending race winner Meyer Shank Racing, the Acura ARX-06s had been fastest for much of the Roar and led four consecutive practice sessions.

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But the times have been extremely tight in the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) category that has brought hybrid engines to IMSA’s premier class. Only 0.9 seconds separated the nine LMDh cars in GTP in qualifying, and though the spread slightly widened to 1.378 seconds in Thursday’s practices with teams on varying strategies and preparation, Westbrook still pooh-poohed the importance of speeds.

“It’s always nice to be at the top, but I don’t think it means too much or read too much into it” Westbrook said. “Big fuel tanks in the GTP class this year, so you have no idea what fuel levels people are running. We had a good run, and the car is really enjoyable to drive now. I definitely wasn’t saying that a month ago.

“It really does feel good now. We are working on performance and definitely unlocking some potential, and it just gives us more confidence going into the race. It’s going to be super tight. Everyone’s got the same power, everyone has the same downforce, everyone has the same drag levels and let’s just go race.”

Because teams have put such a premium on reliability, handling mostly has suffered in the GTPs, but Westbrook said the tide had turned Thursday.

“These cars are so competitive, and you were just running it for the sake of running it in the beginning, and there’s so much going on, you don’t really have time to work on performance,” he said. “A lot of emphasis was on durability in the beginning, and rightly so, but now finally we can work on performance, and that’s the same for other manufacturers as well. But we’re worrying about ourselves and improving every run, and I think everybody’s pretty happy with their Cadillac right now.”

Mike Shank, co-owner of Blomqvist’s No. 60 on the pole, said his team still was facing reliability problems despite its speed.

“We address them literally every hour,” Shank said. “We’re addressing some little thing we’re doing better to try to make it last. And also we’re talking about how we race the race, which will be different from years past.

“Just think about every system in the car, I’m not going to say which ones we’re working on, but there are systems in the car that ORECA and HPD are continually trying to improve. By the way, sometimes we put them on the car and take them off before it even goes out on the track because something didn’t work with electronics. There’s so much programming. So many departments have to talk to each other. That bridge gets broken from a code not being totally correct, and the car won’t run. Or the power steering turns off.”

Former Rolex 24 winner Renger van der Zande of Ganassi said it still is a waiting game until the 24-hour race begins Saturday shortly after 1:30 p.m.

“I think the performance of the car is good,” van der Zande said. “No drama. We’re chipping away on setup step by step and the team is in control. It’s crazy out there what people do on the track at the moment. It’s about staying cool and peak at the right moment, and it’s not the right moment yet for that. We’ll keep digging.”


PRACTICE RESULTS:

Click here for Session I (by class)

Click here for Session II (by class)

Click here for Session III (by class)

Combined speeds