DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 27, 2015) – Fresh off their first win and new points lead in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship standings, Visit Florida Racing will take on the tricky turns of the Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix circuit on the scenic 982-acre Detroit River island in the 2015 Chevrolet Sports Car Classic.
The duo of Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante claimed the points lead with their convincing victory in the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, snapping a string of third place finishes dating back to the season opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The No. 90 VISITFLORIDA.COM Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype team looks to go back-to-back with Westbrook and Valiante behind the wheel, and extend their four-point lead in the TUDOR Championship standings.
“We’re coming into the Chevrolet Sports Car Showcase with a renewed confidence” said Westbrook. “We had consistency all season, but what we have now is consistency and speed. Leading the points is a nice feeling, but that’s all it is. Halfway into the season the focus is still on winning races and if we do that, the points will take care of themselves.”
While the team currently sits in the top spot in the points standings, team owner Troy Flis knows they cannot get comfortable and must continue to work hard to stay on top. Flis also feels the added pressure of a performing flawlessly at Chevrolet’s home track.
“Our partners at Chevrolet have played a major role in the $13,000,000 investment of improving Belle Isle,” said Visit Florida Racing team owner, Troy Flis. “On top of more than half the track being newly paved, Belle Isle has also made major improvements to the facilities to help increase fan attendance and entertainment.”
Since the return of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix in 2007, major improvements have been made to both the track and facilities. The track layout features increased straightaways before the sharp right-hand turn at turn 4 and new concrete to replace some of the most weathered areas of the course. Along with the repaving of the track, fans will have additional parking areas, better roadways for drivers, and wider walking and biking trails for residents throughout the year when race preparation is not underway.
The improved surface and wider, longer straightaways should yield to additional passing opportunities, something Canadian driver Michael Valiante is looking forward to.
“With street courses you typically struggle to find overtaking zones,” said Valiante. “With the improvements on Belle Isle, I think the fans will be in for a real treat. As a driver you now have more options to not only set a guy up, but to complete passes and not risk damaging your car or his.
“It’s exciting to see how much Chevrolet has put into building a quality grand prix circuit and event, and it’s an honor to represent them each and every race day. For Richard and me there isn’t another event the rest of this season that we want to win as badly as we want the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic.”
Practice and qualifying for the Chevrolet Sports Car Showcase will begin Friday, May 29 on Comerica Bank Free Prix Day, followed by the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers on Saturday, May 30.
Visit Florida Racing hopes to increase their points lead in Motor City at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and return to victory with the No. 90 Corvette DP.