The current frontrunner for the weekend’s storybook victory goes to Riley Motorsports and the No. 33 ViperExchange.com/Gas Monkey Garage Dodge Viper GT3-R, taking the GTD class victory at the conclusion of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan. The 100-minute race had its fair share of crashes and yellow flags, as road races often do, allowing drivers Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen to capitalize on the tight spaces, and crawl up from P7 in GTD to take the checkered flag.
Taking second in GTD was Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Lindsey in the No. 73 Park Place Porsche 911 GT3 R, while Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan also represented FCA on the podium with a third place finish in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3.
Just down the road, the Vipers being built at the FCA Conner Avenue Assembly plant undoubtedly felt the aura of victory, probably. Because there’s nothing like a car that’s built in Detroit winning a race in Detroit. Keating, owner of Viper Exchange and 14 other dealerships, understands what the victory means for the local race fans, noting that the No. 33 Viper GT3-R was the only American car in its class during the 100-minute race. The win also represents Keating’s sixth IMSA win, and Bleekemolen’s fifth IMSA win. Both of which are headed to France to prepare for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This heartfelt win is sure to add momentum for the privateer American team, whom continue to find success despite not having the luxuries of a factory backing.