Chevrolet swept both classes in the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle GRAND-AM 200 on The Raceway at Belle Isle Park on Saturday: Darren Law and Joao Barbosa drove the No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype to victory in the DP class, and Jordan Taylor and Paul Edwards won in the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Camaro GT.R in the GT category.
Law and Barbosa started fourth and finished 0.440 seconds ahead of their Action Express Racing teammates Terry Borcheller and David Donohue for their first victory of the season, and the fourth in five races this year for the Corvette DP.
“Sweeping both the Daytona Prototype and Grand Touring races at Belle Isle, in the shadow of its world headquarters, makes this a very special day for Chevrolet Racing,” said Jim Lutz, Chevrolet Grand-Am Program Manager. “Joao Barbosa and Darren Law both drove extremely well on a course that is not very forgiving, and they needed that effort in order to outpace their Action Express teammates, Terry Borcheller and David Donohue.”
The No. 9 Action Express Corvette DP led a race-high 21 of the 72 laps of the two-hour race.
“Winning at Detroit with the Corvette — it can’t be better than this,” Barbosa said. “Being part of the Action Express crew, I have no words.”
“You know what? If I bit my nails I would have no nails left,” Law, who started, said about being a spectator at the end of the race. “I was going crazy, but Joao did a stellar job. I have to thank all the crew and Action Express and also to win this in Detroit in front of Chevy’s headquarters, this is unbelievable. I’m just super happy.”
Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney started on the pole and led the first 19 laps, but a wreck while leaving pit road on lap 36 caused damage and left the No. 10 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP with a 10th-place-in-class finish.
The No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP, driven by Michael Valiente and Richard Westbrook, briefly led before it, too, was involved in a wreck that caused damage, leaving it with a ninth-in-class finish.
In GT, Taylor and Edwards started fourth in class en route to their first win of 2012.
“How cool is it do be driving that Chevrolet Camaro right in Detroit in the hometown of Chevrolet and General Motors?” Edwards said. “You can actual see the world headquarters right from the race track. It’s an awesome win.”
The No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Camaro GT.R led a class-best 35 laps.
“What a tremendous win for Autohaus Motorsports, too, with Jordan Taylor and Paul Edwards in the No. 88 Camaro GT.R.,” Lutz said. “This Belle Isle course is very tight, and Taylor and Edwards had to race their way to the front under very competitive conditions. What an impressive effort.”
Taylor, who left to compete at Le Mans right after the race, said this was a great way to start a very busy month.
“The month of June will be packed for me, but it’s great to start off with a win for Camaro and Autohaus Motorsports,” Taylor said. “The guys have been doing a great job all year. It’s just been little things that have been biting us and this is great to finally get that win.”
John Edwards and Robin Liddell started first in class en route to a third-place finish in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R.
In the Manufacturers’ Standings, Chevrolet leads DP by 17 points, and moved from fourth to second in GT, just six points off the pace.
Next on the schedule for Team Chevy will be EMCO Gears 200, June 8-9 at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course.
JOAO BARBOSA, NO. 9 ACTION EXPRESS CORVETTE DP – RACE WINNER – DP AND OVERALL – YOU TALK ABOUT A STREET FIGHT NOT ONLY WAS IT DIFFICULT WITH THE TRAFFIC, YOU HAD TO OVERCOME A LITTLE BIT OF EMOTION I KNOW YOU GOT A LITTLE HOT IN THE CAR THERE ON PIT LANE, THE RAIN WAS COMING, THIS ONE WAS SPECIAL I ASSUME?
“It was special. I don’t know what kind of controversy you are talking about (laughter). Everything was normal we were first, and then we start in the back just to make our life more difficult (laughs). I cannot say enough. Winning at Detroit with the Corvette it can’t be better than this. Being part of the Action Express crew, I have no words.”
TELL US HOW THE RACE WENT FOR YOU: “This was a very interesting race. We definitely had a great car. Action Express did a great job. We have been very close to be here some of the previous races. For one reason or the other that just didn’t happen. Everything seems to work out really perfect around here. The car was good. We were pretty fast and I was able to go to the lead at one point without really realizing it I was at the back of the field. After that restart I told my guys this is going to be a rough ride up because Detroit is definitely not an easy place to over think. The car was so good and we were really motivated to give a good result to Chevy here in Detroit. Everything from that point on, everything seemed to fall our way. I was able to make the move during traffic around David (Donohue) going into turn one. Otherwise that would be really difficult to overtake. I think our cars at that point were really close. I was just able to read the traffic a little bit ahead and I was able to make the move for the win with a few minutes to go. I’m really proud to just be part of this organization the Action Express guys did just a fantastic job through the whole week.”
DARREN LAW, NO. 9 ACTION EXPRESS CORVETTE DP – RACE WINNER – DP AND OVERALL: YOU STARTED THE CAR WE TALKED ABOUT HOW DIFFICULT IT WAS IN TRAFFIC WAS IT MORE DIFFICULT IN THE CAR OR STANDING WATCHING THAT LAST HALF HOUR?
“You know what if I bit my nails I would have no nails left. I was going crazy, but Joao (Barbosa) did a stellar job. I have to thank all the crew and Action Express and also to win this in Detroit in front of Chevy’s headquarters this is unbelievable. I’m just super happy.”
TELL US ABOUT YOUR RUN: “We are really very proud. We knew we had a good car coming into the race. Actually both cars, so it’s great for Action Express to finally get a win and actually put both cars on the podium together one-two that is really cool for us. It is great to do it here at Chevrolet’s headquarters in the Corvette. As far as the race goes for me I did not have the best of starts. I had a good opening stint once we got rolling. The car was good and really we did the same as everybody kind of came in on that first yellow and Joao (Barbosa, co-driver) got in and had a great run. He did a stellar job and drove it all the way to the front. In the middle of the race there we did have a little mix up with officiating which I was pretty upset about, but we pulled it out and had a great run. I’m happy for everybody.”
DAVID DONOHUE, NO. 5 ACTION EXPRESS CORVETTE DP – 2ND PLACE FINISHER – DP AND OVERALL: YOU ARE NOT THAT HAPPY, TELL US ABOUT YOUR DAY: “Well I mean we were giving it a hard run at it. Going up into turn one, Joao (Barbosa) did not give me much room it was a little bit of a hairy move I thought, but it’s great for Action Express. Coming in one-two I’m really happy for the team. This is long overdue, I’ve been saying this team is ready to break out and hopefully this is the time. To do it in the 60th anniversary colors of Corvette at a Chevy sponsored race here in Detroit it’s fantastic.”
TERRY BORCHELLER, NO. 5 ACTION EXPRESS CORVETTE DP – 2ND PLACE FINISHER – DP AND OVERALL: “Well the start was good for us in the No. 5 car. It was a great race. Our cars were good. The No. 5 car was really strong. David did a fantastic job at the end. The No. 9 car was just a little stronger today, but it was a good race.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 88 AUTOHAUS CAMARO GT.R – RACE WINNER – GT CLASS: ON THE RACE:”It was a good race. Everyone came into the race a little bit blind. We only got limited time running in the blind. I think whoever off-loaded from the truck the best was going to have a good shot at it and we definitely had that. Thanks to Autohaus and Pratt and Miller.
“For the race itself, I’d only done about three laps in the dry conditions and four in the wet, so, that first restart was a bit wild. I just kinda saw someone brake and tried go a little bit deeper to get around them, and kind of judge it off that. Once I got in the lead, I was kind of lost for the first few. It was really great for the Autohaus guys because that first pit stop got us that track position. I think we were running third for fourth for the first stint. And then we jumped to the lead of the guys that made that first stop; two guys stayed out, so we were really third. But, we were able to get around a few guys and keep that track position through the end of the race.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS GOING FROM DETROIT TO (LE MANS) FRANCE (TO QUALIFY AND RUN THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS): “My only concern is making the flight. Once I get there I will be ok. I have a flight tonight to Paris and helicopter to the track. I’ll make it for only about three hours of practice at Le Mans. Then I fly back on Tuesday for Mid Ohio. Then we play a game of golf we’ve arranged in Mid Ohio, and race Mid Ohio. Fly back to France the day after Mid Ohio and the fly back the day after France for Road America. So, it is a good way to start June with this win.”
PAUL EDWARDS, NO. 88 AUTOHAUS CAMARO GT.R, RACE WINNER – GT CLASS: ON THE RACE: “I am just really happy for the team today. Being right here in the backyard of General Motors and Chevrolet, it is our first win of the year Camaro, so obviously a big day. Just overall, just a great weekend. Everyone did a great job. It is good for the team going into Mid Ohio, we really needed a win after some of the results that got taken away from us the last couple of races. Hopefully this will get us back in the groove.”
YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO WIN HERE IN DETROIT HOW IMPORTANT THAT BOWTIE VICTORY HERE IS AT DETROIT: “Yeah it means everything. How cool is it do be driving that Chevrolet Camaro right in Detroit in the hometown of Chevrolet and General Motors, you can actual see the world headquarters right from the race track. Really big day for us, really big day for the team, the momentum is there for Mid-Ohio it’s an awesome win.”
JOHN EDWARDS, NO. 57 STEVENSON MOTORSPORTS CAMARO GT.R, FINISHED 3RD (GT): ON QUALIFYING: ON THE RACE: “I quite enjoyed this track. My stint was far less eventful than Robin’s, although when we caught a slower DP when I was behind the Ferrari, that was the only chance I knew I had to get by him because the Ferrari was obviously very quick. Tried to take advantage of it and kind of cut down on a corner when Guy (Cosmo) got held up. Got along side of him a couple of times, but couldn’t make it happen. Then we just watched him drive away. Fortunately we were ahead of all the people that mattered as far as the championship is concerned. So, felt like we were in a pretty good spot. On the first pit stop, we lost a couple of spots, and Robin drove hard and made up a little bit of that. Once he got close to the No. 70 car and Jordan (Taylor), being so similar on times, it was going to be pretty hard to make a move on the tight streets.”
ROBIN LIDDELL, NO. 57 STEVENSON MOTORSPORTS CAMARO GT.R, FINISHED 3RD (GT): “Pretty much what John said really. We knew track position was going to be pretty critical, so we were bit annoyed with ourselves. I think we dropped the positions in the first stop. John had a good opening stint. We knew he really wouldn’t have anything for the Ferrari. The No. 03 just checked out, took a massive lead and then just backed up. To be honest, had they executed a good race, I think they would have run away with it. But, fortunately for the rest of us, the racing was very close and competitive. A lot of came down to the pit stops and keeping the track position. The guys ahead of use certainly were running really hard. There were a lot of incidents out there as well. There was a lot of damage and carnage all over the place. Some of those restarts and opening laps following restarts were pretty hectic. But, fortunately we all managed to keep it in one piece. We are happy enough to be on the podium so it is a good result for points for the championship.”