Aschenbach, Robinson Return To IMSA GTD Action At Belle Isle In Detroit

With a race under their belts in the No. 74 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, Lone Star Racing and drivers Gar Robinson and Lawson Aschenbach head to Belle Isle and the streets of Detroit this week for Robinson’s home event on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar. 

Lone Star Racing, Robinson and Aschenbach have all experienced success in a variety of professional races at Belle Isle. This weekend will be the first time they’ve taken on the task together. The team is running with the support of ACS Manufacturing and 74 Ranch resort in a five-race schedule for 2019. 

Photo By Halston Pitman

Saturday’s 100-minute race on the Belle Isle street circuit is schedued to start at 12:40 p.m. EDT and can be seen live on NBC Sports Network with coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. EDT. 

A born and bred Texan, Robinson now calls the Motor City a second home. In four Trans Am Series races on the circuit, Robinson has never missed the podium on the temporary track. In 2017, Robinson took a Trans Am 2 class victory on the 14-turn, 2.35-mile circuit. 

“It’s the best racing street course in the world,” Robinson said. “There are plenty of passing zones if you have the confidence to use them. My family has been racing here for almost 30 years, and I feel that every time I get on the track. I’m not sure if I would consider it pressure but rather determination to put on the best show I can. In racing, it always has to be business as usual.”

Lone Star Racing took a GTA class win at Belle Isle in Pirelli World Challenge competition during the 2014 season. Team owner and driver Dan Knox stood on the top of the podium then, with many of the current team members carrying over from that season to this year’s campaign that began one race ago at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. 

“Mid-Ohio was a good event for us to set as a baseline,” Lone Star Racing Team Manager AJ Peterson said. “We came out and showed the potential for a competitive pace, and for the most part our execution in the pit lane was good. We were in a good place on race day, just missed out on the last tire stop. I think that Detroit will suit the Mercedes-AMG GT3 with the bumpy and low-grip nature of the track. I expect the car will be within the window as a competitive package.”

Detroit is the second race of the season for Lone Star following the Mid-Ohio debut. The No. 74 Mercedes-AMG GT3 ran as high as second in the GT Daytona (GTD) class and battled in the top-five before a late unscheduled pit stop for a loose wheel took away a strong finish. 

Photo By Halston Pitman

Aschenbach, who has also led laps at Belle Isle and landed on the podium on more than one occasion, felt the foundation for success in the Mid-Ohio effort.

“I felt that Mid-Ohio was a great showcase for the team, and we can build on that momentum heading into Detroit,” Aschenbach said. “I’ve been fortunate to lead a lot of laps at Detroit, so I always circle this race on my calendar. It’s a great layout for a street course that offers exciting views for the fans. Plus, it’s a place that forces you to push the limits, something every driver enjoys!”

Despite the challenging conditions that come with a temporary street course, everyone at Lone Star Racing believes the Mercedes-AMG GT3 gives the team a chance in Detroit. 

“The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is the perfect combination of downforce, handling, acceleration, and stability,” Aschenbach said. “I feel right at home in the car and its strengths will be on display at a track like Detroit. We will need to balance the low grip surface, compliance, and platform stiffness, but I have no doubt this racecar will check all the boxes.”

A condensed two-day weekend will keep Lone Star Racing active during the event. Two Friday practice sessions give way to Friday afternoon’s 15-minute qualifying session at 5:20 p.m. EDT. A 20-minute Saturday morning warm-up session is the last time on track before Sunday’s one-hour and 40-minute race that goes green at 12:40 p.m. EDT. Qualifying will be shown live on IMSA.tv, with the race broadcast on NBC Sports Network and the NBCSN app. 

About Lone Star Racing: Based at Motorsport Ranch within the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area in Cresson, Texas, Lone Star Racing is competing in the ACS Manufacturing/Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the third season in 2019. Lone Star Racing and its team members have won races across North America spanning sprint and endurance racing formats. The crew has worked together on many different teams and various types of cars, developing a strong bond and proven capability that gives them a competitive and winning advantage. Lone Star Racing competes with the support of primary partner ACS Manufacturing, Inc. (www.ACSManufacturing.com). Look for Lone Star Racing and team owner/driver Dan Knox on Facebook and follow the team on YouTube at Lone Star Racing, on Twitter and Instagram at @LSRTeam and on the official team web site at www.LoneStarRacingTeam.com.

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