Taylor brothers score commanding win at COTA
Wayne Taylor Racing continued its domination of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a commanding win from pole in the Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown at Circuit of The Americas.
Jordan Taylor took the No. 10 WTR Cadillac DPi-V.R to the finish, crossing the line 18.855 seconds ahead of second place Dane Cameron in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac after a late-race restart.
The only drama came with under 10 minutes to go when the No. 2 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi erupted in flames while Ryan Dalziel was running in third, bringing out a full course caution and setting up one final restart.
As had been the case all weekend, no one could touch the No. 10 Cadillac, and with the buffer of traffic Jordan Taylor cruised to yet another win to start the season.
The win is the fourth consecutive to start the season for WTR, the longest win streak in major sports car racing since Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf won eight straight races in the 2013 American Le Mans Series for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing.
While the WTR car was well out in front, the battle for the remaining podium spots was contentious for much of the race.
JDC-Miller, Tequila Patron ESM, VisitFlorida, and AXR all were in contention for a solid finish, but a combination of attrition and pace saw the two AXR machines lock down the final two spots to complete a Cadillac sweep of the podium.
Dane Cameron secured the second spot in the No. 31 entry, with teammate Joao Barbosa just behind in the No. 5 car in third.
Stephen Simpson in the JDC-Miller Oreca 07 Gibson and Johannes van Overbeek in the No. 22 Nissan rounded out the top-five.
It was a tough day for Multimatic/Riley-built cars, with both Mazda RT24-P and the Visit Florida Racing Riley Mk. 30 Gibson cars suffering from terminal electrical issues.
Pato O’Ward and James French continued their stranglehold on the Prototype Challenge class for Performance Tech Motorsports, dominating the race and winning by a lap over the Nicholas Boulle and Stefan Wilson-driven No. 26 BAR1 entry.
The team’s sister car of Buddy Rice and Don Yount completed the running order in third.
A practice fire, a sixth-place starting spot, and a late race restart couldn’t prevent the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia from earning its second of the season.
The Corvette survived the Lap 1 melee that affected five of the nine GTLM cars in the field, and withheld a charge from Alexander Sims in the BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM when the race went back to green with under five minutes to go, to get back to victory lane.
Sims and co-driver Bill Auberlen started third in the No. 24 entry and led early on but was sidelined by a pit lane penalty with just under 90 minutes to go.
The comeback bid came up 2.498 seconds short, but is easily the best result of the season for the BMW squad.
The first lap contretemps was triggered when the No. 67 Ford GT tagged the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE of Giancarlo Fisichella, ending the day for the hometown Risi Competizione squad on the first lap for the second straight event.
Also involved were the No. 4 Corvette and the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR.
— SPEED (@SPEED) May 7, 2017
The pole-sitting No. 24 BMW suffered a similar fate as its sister car, suffering from a costly penalty for driving through the red light at the end of pit lane. Drivers John Edwards and Martin Tomczyk settled for third.
The double podium for BMW and generally strong pace should provide some solace to BMW after a trying start to the season.
Jeroen Bleekemolen and Ben Keating continued their dominance in GT Daytona, adding a win at COTA to their earlier triumph at Sebring in the No. 33 Riley Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen teamed to take home second for Scuderia Corsa, with the Tristan Vautier/Kenny Habul-driven SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes completing the podium.
Newcomer Mathieu Jaminet impressed in his series debut, claiming pole and setting the fastest race lap for Alegra Motorsports in the No. 28 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Ultimately Jaminet and co-driver Daniel Morad settled for seventh in class.
Up next for the WeatherTech championship is a trip to Detroit for the Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix for the all but the GTLM teams which head into their Le Mans break.