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IMSA driver Roman De Angelis hopes to ‘catch a breather’ at Final Detroit GP on Belle Isle

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  • The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races on Beale Island in Detroit this weekend, marking the final race weekend on the island before the event moves to downtown Detroit in 2023.
  • There are six DPi cars competing in Detroit, and 10 GTD cars.
  • The Chevrolet Classic Sportscar airs at 3 p.m. ET Saturday on USA Network, Peacock Radio and IMSA Radio, available at IMSA.com.

    It was a bittersweet race in 2021 for Romain de Angelis and his driving partner, Ross Gunn. Pretty close, but nonetheless, not a bad second place at his original track, the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle, given that De Angelis is across the river in Windsor, Canada.

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    Then something remarkable happened, for his #27 team in the heart of the race Aston Martin Vantage GT3, anyway: Post-race analysis showed that the GT Daytona class-winning car in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the #39 CarBahn Audi R8 LMS GT3, didn’t break the line The minimum required time to refuel the car, and he was driven out of the victory.

    De Angelis lifted, giving him his first win, in his first race in Detroit.

    23 The heart of the racing team Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Ross Gunn, Romain de Ingles

    Roman de Angelis races on Beale Island in 2021.

    IMSA

    “Win is a win,” DeAngelis said then, “Whether you take it after the race or during the race, he will always say we won the Detroit Grand Prix in 2021. I’ve always dreamed of winning an IMSA race, let alone competing in one.”

    The win ignited the fire under the leadership of the Aston Martin team. They went on to win Lime Rock and the closest major season, Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

    Now De Angelis and Gunn are back, and have teamed up for the first time this year since De Angelis’ regular driver, Maxime Martin, raced elsewhere this weekend. He hopes the win will ignite another fire under the team that has had a lot of luck this year, almost all of it bad.

    “We didn’t have the best luck this year,” said De Angelis. “Everything that can go wrong seems to be going wrong. In the middle of Ohio we had our first kind of event-free race and we still ran out of fuel on the last lap. We’re going through a rough time this year and we’re getting a breather.” De Angelis is ninth in the points standings.

    This will be De Angelis’ last ride around the storied Belle Isle circuit a few miles from downtown Detroit. In 2023, the race moves to a new street circuit around downtown. He’ll be sorry to see Belle Isle go, but he’s looking forward to the new path.

    “In terms of the event, the vibe of downtown Detroit versus Belle Island is going to be a whole different level,” DeAngelis said. “It takes five minutes by car to get to the city center. I go all the time for dinner, sporting events and to hang out with friends.”

    De Angelis and Gunn will compete against a strong field typical of GT Daytona cars. The only two classes competing are the top global Daytona Prototype and GTD cars – GTD Pro, LMP2 and LMP3 Weekend Cars.

    Some drivers in Detroit, like DPi champion Ranger van der Zande, will head straight to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which runs June 11-12. There are six DPi cars competing in Detroit, and 10 GTD cars.

    The Chevrolet Classic Sportscar airs at 3 p.m. ET Saturday on USA Network, Peacock Radio and IMSA Radio, available at IMSA.com,

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