An accident in Sunday's American Le Mans Series round at Mosport has ruled the second Intersport entry out of this weekend's back-to-back round on the street circuit at Belle Isle Raceway in Detroit.
The announcement is particularly bad news for ALMS newcomer Ryan Lewis, who was beginning to settle into the team after a handful of outings and was looking forward to racing in the Motor City, but the Briton was powerless to prevent the incident which befell co-driver John Faulkner after he had taken over behind the wheel of the Lola-AER.
The Atlantic Series refugee had struggled with engine problems during first practice, and Friday's session, while improved, was spoiled by poor set-up changes, but things were looking more promising on race day until Faulkner suffered a high-speed crash and more or less destroyed the car.
“We started the race alongside Jon [Field] in the other Intersport car, and he made one of his typically robust starts and managed to gain a few spots in the opening laps whilst I held off the BK Mazda,” Lewis recalled, “Once we got enough temperature into the tyres though, I was able to close the gap to [Butch] Leitzinger in the Dyson Porsche and pass him at the kink before turn five.
"For the remainder of my stint, it was just a case of trying to manage the traffic and not lose too much time where possible. The car was really consistent, so I could keep putting in low nines lap after lap, quicker than the majority of the field.”
The plan was for Lewis to do the first stint, then jump back in after Faulkner finished his run, but things didn't work out that way.
“Unfortunately, about 30 minutes into John's stint, he ran wide at turn one, got loose in the dirt on the exit and was catapulted across the track into the inside wall," Lewis explained, "The minimum speed at turn one is over 120mph, so it's safe to say the impact was pretty big.
"The front of the car was completely ripped off, so that was our day done. Luckily, John was okay - a little shaken up and bruised, but okay. It's a shame as things were looking promising. We were in with a chance of beating our sister car to third place in the P1 field, but it wasn't to be.”
Post-race investigations revealed that damage to the car was more substantial than initially feared, meaning that Intersport will be down to one car for Detroit, and Lewis relegated to watching from the sidelines before hopefully returning for Petit Le Mans on 4 October.