Kevin Magnussen, Renger van der Zande win for Ganassi at Detroit; IMSA results, points

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IMSA points results Detroit: Chip Ganassi Racing swept Saturday at Belle Isle Raceway as Kevin Magnussen and Renger van der Zande took the No. 01 Cadillac to victory lane in the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic.

It’s the 60th career sports car victory for Ganassi but the team’s first at Belle Isle.

The Ganassi duo finished 0.573 seconds ahead of the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac of Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani. Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque finished third in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura, which scored its third DPi podium finish through four races.

The victory for Magnussen and van der Zande came about two hours after Ganassi driver Marcus Ericsson won for the first time in the NTT IndyCar Series.

This is the first season together for Magnussen and van der Zande, who teamed up about two months before the season began when CGR decided to enter the premier division of IMSA.

After Magnussen started on pole position for the first time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the No. 01 led 97 of 99 laps around the 14-turn, 2.3-mile road course in the 100-minute race.

“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.”

RESULTSClick here for the final overall finishing order and here for the class breakdown.

Magnussen won in his IMSA debut at Detroit, while van der Zande scored his 15th career IMSA victory and third at Belle Isle while holding off Nasr in the closing laps.

“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.”

Said team owner Chip Ganassi: “Obviously a big day for the team. 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 (Magnussen and van der Zande), 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.”

In the GTD division, the No. 39 Peregrine Racing Audi R8 crossed the finish line first but was moved to the rear of the field when a postrace audit showed the team’s refueling was faster than the minimum listed on Balance of Performance table for the class, according to IMSA.

That handed the victory to the No. 23 Heart of Racing team of Ross Gunn and Roman De Angelis, giving Aston Martin its first victory in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition.

In the exhibition GTLM division, the No. 4 C8.R Corvette finished ahead of its No. 3 Corvette Racing Counterpart.


STATS PACKAGE FOR CHEVROLET SPORTS CAR CLASSIC AT BELLE ISLE RACEWAY:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Leader sequence

Lap chart

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Time cards

Pit stop time cards


ROUND 1: Points and results from the Rolex 24 at Daytona

ROUND 2: Points and results from the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

ROUND 3: Points and results from Mid-Ohio

NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will resume June 24-27 at Watkins Glen International for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

SuperMotocross: Ken Roczen urgently needed change

Roczen change
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Change can be frightening, but it is often exhilarating and Ken Roczen, a rider in his ninth season on a 450 bike, it was urgently needed.

Roczen ended the 2022 Supercross season with his worst performance in five years. After finishing outside of the top five in seven of his last eight rounds in the stadium series, well down the points’ standings in ninth, he decided to put that season on hold.

How it ended was in stark contrast to how it began. Roczen’s 2022 season got off to the best possible start. He won the Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California by more than seven seconds over the 2021 champion Cooper Webb.

That would be his last podium and he scored only one more top-five in the Glendale, Arizona Triple Crown.

MORE: Ken Roczen sweeps top five in Anaheim 2 Triple Crown

Before 2022, Roczen was a regular challenger for the championship despite being plagued by major accidents that required surgery in 2017 and 2018. On his return, he was diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus, which presents with symptoms of heavy fatigue, muscle weakness and loss of appetite and last year he tested positive for COVID-19.

Against those odds, he finished second in the outdoor season in 2019 and third in 2020. In the Supercross series, he finished third in 2020 and second in 2021.

But the abbreviated season of 2022 signaled a need for change for Roczen.

“I needed the change urgently,” Roczen said in last week’s post-race press conference at Angel Stadium. “I did a pretty big change in general.”

Those comments came three races into the 2023 with him sitting among the top three finishers for the first time in 10 Supercross rounds. It was the 57th podium of his career, only six behind 10th-place Ryan Villopoto. It was also the first for Suzuki since 2019 when Chad Reed gave them one in Detroit 63 rounds ago.

Taking time off at the end of the Supercross season had the needed effect. He rejoined SuperMotocross in the outdoor season and immediately stood on the podium at Fox Raceway in Pala, California. Two rounds later, he won at Thunder Valley in Lakewood, Colorado. The relief was short lived and he would not stand on the podium again until this year.

Roczen Motocross Round 3
Ken Roczen won Round 3 of the outdoor season in 2022 at Thunder Valley after finished second in Moto 1 and first in Moto 2. Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Winds of Change

Roczen’s offseason was dramatic. Citing differences over his announcement to compete in the World Supercross Championship, he split with Honda HRC and declared himself a free agent. It wasn’t a difficult decision; Roczen was signed only for the Supercross season.

That change had the desired effect. Roczen won the WSX championship in their two-race, pilot season. More importantly, he proved to himself that he could compete for wins.

Late in the offseason, Roczen announced he would also change manufacturers with a move to HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki. He won the 2016 Pro Motocross title for Suzuki with nine wins in 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second. He easily outran the competition with an advantage of 86 points over second-place Eli Tomac.

“I just think change overall made it happen – and these overseas races – it’s really just a snowball,” Roczen said. “You start somewhere and you feel like something works out and I got better and had more fun doing it. Working with the team as well and working on the motorcycle to get better and actually see it paying off. It’s just, it’s just a big boost in general.”

The return to Suzuki at this stage of his career, after nearly a decade of competing on 450 motorcycles, recharged Roczen. He is one of three riders, (along with Cooper Webb and his former Honda teammate Chase Sexton), with a sweep of the top five in the first three rounds of the 2023 Supercross season.

But last week’s podium really drove home how strong he’s been.

“I think we’re all trying to take it all in,” Roczen said. “I wouldn’t say it came out of nowhere really, but before the season starts you think about – or I thought of how my whole last season went – and it’s been a long time since I’ve been on the podium.”

Roczen’s most recent podium prior to Anaheim 2 came at Budds Creek Motocross Park in Mechanicsville, Maryland last August in Round 10 of the outdoor season. His last podium in Supercross was the 2022 season opener that raised expectations so high.

Supercross Round 1 results
Ken Roczen raised expectations with his season opening win at Anaheim but did not stand on the box again in the Supercross series. Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

The change Roczen needed was not just a different team and bike. More importantly, he needed the freedom to set his own schedule and control his training schedule.

“It’s long days, but I’m really into it at the moment,” Roczen said. “Overall, I felt [that] throughout this off season and now my health has been really well, really good, so that helps. It’s needed to get to the top. I’m pretty confident that we’re, we’re doing the right thing – that I’m doing the right thing.

“I’m doing all my training on my own and I’m planning out my entire week. And I feel like I have a really good system going right now with recovery and putting in some hard days. Right now, I don’t really have anybody telling me what to do. I’m the best judge of that.

“It’s really hard to talk about how much work we’ve put in, but we’ve been doing some big changes and riding a lot throughout the week, some really, really late days. And they’re paying off right now; we’re heading in the right direction. We’re all pulling on the same string, and that helps me out big time.”