DETROIT, Mich (28 May 2019) – Whelen Engineering Racing returns to Detroit’s Belle Isle
Circuit as the defending winners of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear.
Felipe Nasr returns to the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R that won the 2018 event
on the 14-turn, 2.3-mile temporary street circuit. He will be joined by Pipo Derani, who won last
year’s pole for a different team.
Derani and Nasr enter the event with a four-point lead in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar
Championship standings. The pair were winners in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and
finished second in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and are coming off a fourth-place finish at Mid-
“I’m looking forward to Detroit,” Nasr said. “Last year was so awesome with our win there; that
was a huge highlight on the way to the championship with Whelen Engineering. We had a very
fast car at Long Beach and hopefully we will be strong again this weekend in Detroit. Pipo was
on pole there last year, so he knows his way around there already!”
Whelen Engineering Racing won in its Detroit debut in 2015, with Eric Curran and Dane
Cameron co-driving the No. 31 Whelen Corvette DP, with the team finishing second in the No.
31 Whelen Cadillac DPi in 2017.
“The street tracks are so intense, but I love that challenge and I think is what makes IMSA such
a great championship with all the different kinds of tracks we race on,” Nasr said. “Hopefully, we
can go for another swim in the fountain again this weekend!"
Nasr was joined by Curran in their victory dip following last year’s race at the circuit, which is
located in plain view of the Renaissance Center, General Motors’ world headquarters. Now,
Derani is looking to take his turn for a quick splash in the Belle Isle fountain.
“Last year was an amazing track experience for me at Detroit,” Derani recalled. “It was my first
time there, and we put the ESM car on pole. The track makes for a lot of adrenaline for the
drivers there, especially in qualifying – it is super quick and close to the walls. The first corner is
one of my favorites, it is so quick that first, right, left esses. It surprises you a bit you are on a
street track with a corner like that!
“We had a problem in the race last year, but now i am with the winning team, and we are racing
in Cadillac home event,” Derani added. “I can’t wait to be back at Detroit with Felipe and this
team. Hopefully we can do as strong a job as they did this year.”
Derani will not have much time to celebrate following the event.
“We will fly directly to the track at Le Mans after the race with a lot of other drivers,” Derani said.
“I think it will be quite good to do that to be ready for the test day.”
The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear will be televised live on NBCSN, beginning
Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET.