Corvette Controls GTD PRO Qualifying in Detroit

By Tony DiZinno

IMSA Wire Service

Track position is perennially pivotal in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship street course races. And Chevrolet has the best places to start Saturday’s Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Classic, Round 4 of the Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) season.

Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports set the pace in practice with the No. 3 Corvette Z06 GT3.R leading the Friday morning session and the No. 4 Corvette Z06 GT3.R on top in the afternoon session. The team then proceeded to back it up in qualifying with a 1-2 effort to close Friday’s track activities, ensuring the team has secured successive GTD PRO class poles.

Antonio Garcia took his 14th career Motul Pole Award and first since the 2023 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Cadillac, with an authoritative best lap in GTD PRO qualifying in the No. 3 Corvette he shares with Alexander Sims.

Garcia posted a best lap time of 1 minute 9.092 seconds (85.711 mph) on his 13th lap around the 1.645-mile, nine-turn downtown Detroit street course encircling the Renaissance Center.

“I think it’s great. That’s the first goal we had, as soon as possible get up front, and a Corvette 1-2 really helps,” Garcia said. “Have two yellow ‘Vettes around this building. We just need to keep it together. Let’s hope it’s not like Laguna where we go from there to somewhere else. It’ll probably be some yellows too, and we need to be smart.

“In a place like this where it’s almost impossible to pass, it’s really good to have track position. Maybe a ton of people roll the dice and the whole thing changes. We see these where the fastest car doesn’t always win. If everything falls as it should, it’ll be great to have a Corvette 1-2 around the Ren Cen.”

Tommy Milner worked hard to catch Garcia and ended 0.336 seconds back in the No. 4 Corvette he shares with Nicky Catsburg. Catsburg scored the new car’s first IMSA pole three weeks ago at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca; the team seeks the new car’s first IMSA race win again on Saturday.

First and second in the championship line up in fourth and third, respectively, with the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 ahead of the No. 77 AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Jack Hawksworth qualified the No. 14 Lexus in the car he shares with Ben Barnicoat, who has won three straight WeatherTech Championship street races at Detroit and Long Beach over three years. That pair enters the race 56 points back of Seb Priaulx, who qualified the No. 77 Porsche and shares it with Laurin Heinrich.

GTD PRO debutantes Conquest Racing qualified fifth with Daniel Serra in its No. 35 Ferrari 296 GT3.

Corvette’s Motown crosstown rivals Ford will see its two Ford Multimatic Motorsports entries slot in seventh and ninth in the 11-car GTD PRO field.

Tune in to Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Classic coverage live starting at 3 p.m. ET Saturday on USA Network, Peacock and IMSA Radio.