Joao Barbosa avoided the pitfalls that sidelined his chief competitors, then completed a nifty pass of Action Express Racing teammate David Donohue with 19 laps left to win Saturday's Chevrolet Grand-Am Detroit 200 at Belle Isle.
The Portuguese driver landed his first win of the season and eighth of his Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series career, co-driving the No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP with Darren Law. Once in front, he survived a restart with 10 minutes left in the two-hour race and pressure from Donohue to seal a 1-2 sweep by Action Express Racing Corvette DPs.
"It was an interesting race," Barbosa said. "We had a great car and had been very close to winning in previous races. For whatever reason, it just didn't happen. … We were really motivated to get a good result for Chevy here in Detroit. It was just a fantastic job all week."
Donohue was second in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP he co-drove with Terry Borcheller, just .440 seconds behind at the finish. Scott Pruett, who led for two of the 72 laps in the first half of the race, finished third in the No. 01 Telmex Riley-BMW co-driven by Memo Rojas.
Jordan Taylor – co-driving the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Camaro GT.R with Paul Edwards – prevailed in the Grand Touring (GT) class, taking command after Dion von Moltke crashed the No. 51 APR Tuned/Motul/Parathyroid.com Audi R8 Grand-Am while leading in the 39th minute and pole-starter Guy Cosmo was black-flagged for jumping a restart near the midway point in the No. 03 Tequila Patron Ferrari 458. Taylor was a comfortable 3.481 seconds ahead at the end of the series' first appearance on the 2.1-mile temporary street course.
"Obviously, everyone came into the race a little bit blind," said Taylor, who led a race-high 35 laps. "We only got a limited time running in the dry so I think whoever off-loaded the truck the best was going to have a good shot at it, and we definitely had that."
Jonathan Bomarito finished second with co-driver in the No. 70 Mazdaspeed/ModSpace/Castrol Mazda RX-8 with Robin Liddell third in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro GT.R. Liddell's co-driver was John Edwards.
No. 8 Duncan Ford/Riley co-drivers Enzo Potolicchio and Ryan Dalziel finished sixth to retain the points lead in the featured Daytona Prototype class, just one point ahead of Law. Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato – who finished fourth in class Saturday in the No. 69 FXDD Ferrari 458 – added one point to their lead in GT.
It was the fourth straight victory for the Corvette DP, which stretched its lead in the Daytona Prototype manufacturer standings to 17 points over Ford. Ferrari leads the GT manufacturer standings six points over Chevrolet.
The series resumes June 9 at Mid-Ohio.