Intersport Racing Wins Detroit Sports Car Challenge Detroit (Aug. 30) -- Intersport Racing, broke Audi's stranglehold in the LMP1 category Saturday to take the class victory in the Detroit Sports Car Challenge presented by Bosch, the ninth...
Intersport Racing Wins Detroit Sports Car Challenge
Detroit (Aug. 30) -- Intersport Racing, broke Audi's stranglehold in the LMP1 category Saturday to take the class victory in the Detroit Sports Car Challenge presented by Bosch, the ninth round of the American Le Mans Series. The No. 37 Very Berry Exotics Lola B06/10 AER of Jon and Clint Field and Richard Berry took the top spot when the No. 1 Audi R10 TDI after it failed to meet the minimum weight in post-race technical inspection. The win was Intersport's first in the Series since Portland 2006, and its maiden LMP1 victory. It also ended Audi's 30-race class winning streak that dated back to Sebring in 2006. Intersport Racing is the American Le Mans Series longest participating privateer team having participated through out the Series' 10 year history.
"While this is not exactly how we had hoped to claim our first LMP1 win, we'll take it anyway," said team owner and former American Le Mans LMP2 Champion, Clint. "A win is a win. We admire and respect our friends at Audi. We race them hard and fair every time out. It is a huge challenge for a small privateer like Intersport to go out there and compete with a team of Audi's caliber. This is great for our guys. The whole crew works so hard every week, and we're really happy to share this with them."
"This is a great day for everyone associated with the Intersport Racing team," Jon said. "My last win came at Sebring nearly three years ago, so it's great to have another one under my belt. We are appreciative of the victory, but like Clint said, regardless of the circumstances, a win is a win. We've shown that we have we have the pace to beat the Audis at other tracks. Though I think everyone had difficulty setting up their cars here this weekend because of the lack of track time."
All competitors faced difficult challenges at Belle Isle, as rain dampened most of the activities on Friday. While some teams elected to go out in the morning practice session on wet tires, Intersport played it smart and kept its AER-powered prototype parked in the paddock. In the second practice, Clint and Richard ventured out, completing a handful of laps and acclimating themselves to the tricky 14-turn, 2.07 mile temporary street circuit. In the warm-up on race day, Jon got some time behind the wheel, in what was the first real dry session of the weekend.
The call to preserve the car and not rack up miles in the wet proved to be one of the keys to finishing. Just over 30 minutes into the race, the pole sitter, Lucas Luhr, spun due to the bumps. A few laps later, the German had a second, but race-ending trip into the tire barriers. This immediately put Intersport's Very Berry Exotics Lola into second in class. Jon kept the car solidly in the top-10 overall and on the lead lap through out his double-stint before handing over to son, Clint. Late in the race Richard took over the reigns of the Lola and brought home the win.
"We overcame a few challenges during the race and hung in there at the end," said team manager Brian Alder. "And today, that's what mattered. We're thrilled to have taken the win, although we'd like to have done on the track. I have to thank the entire team that always sticks with us, and also our partners and supporters that never give up. Hopefully this momentum will ride with us into the final two races."