Taylor/Angelelli Win In Laguna Seca
Wayne Taylor Racing’s duo of Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli won their second straight Grand-Am Rolex race as they held off Scott Pruett of Chip Ganassi Racing at Laguna Seca on Sunday afternoon.
The victory, which came with Taylor behind the wheel at the finish, comes after they won at Kansas Speedway in the last race three weeks ago.
Pruett and the No. 01 team – the defending series’ champion – finished second.
Before having to keep Pruett at bay over the final laps today, Taylor also found himself with a rearview mirror full of the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley of Scott Dixon, the 2008 Indianapolis 500 champion and the winningest driver in IZOD IndyCar Series history, on consecutive restarts with 18 minutes and less than four minutes remaining in the race, respectively.
“It definitely fazed me,” Taylor said of racing against the No. 02 BMW. “Dixon, (Dario) Franchitti (Dixon’s co-driver this weekend), Pruett – all these guys are legends in my mind. I’ve grown up looking up to them and they’re still my heroes. I still watch them in Indy cars, so I was definitely under pressure. But I knew if I could hold them off, I would be in a good position for the points. And it couldn’t have been a better points day for Velocity Worldwide, Toshiba, GM, SunTrust and the whole team.”
Dixon and Franchitti finished third..
Taylor pointed to the learning experience of holding off Pruett for so long at Kansas as a boost to his confidence today.
“It definitely helped a lot,” he said. “I raced against guys in GT who are great drivers, too, so my whole career in GT I learned a lot from them, including how to hold guys off. Having Pruett on me for an hour and a half (at Kansas) was intense. Now, having Dixon on me for about 30 minutes was good for experience. I’ll put that one in my book for future reference. It was definitely a good race for us today. Once we left that first yellow (at the 30-minute mark) and had a bunch of green-flag running, we pulled a good lead and I was hoping it would stay green so I could use that buffer to our advantage. But, once it went back to yellow, having Dixon and Pruett right on you is pretty intense. I was pretty glad to be able to hold them off and get a win for the guys.”
The series will head to the season finale at Lime Rock in three weeks with Wayne Taylor Racing leading the Ganassi No. 01 car by eight points.
“It’s close coming down to Lime Rock,” Pruett said. “The No. 10 car has a little breathing room, but hopefully we can turn around our luck at Lime Rock and have a good finish.”
Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty finished fourth in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP, followed by Sebastien Bourdais and Emilio DiGuida in the No. 4 Venezuela Corvette DP. Of the other title contenders, Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa finished seventh in the No. 5 Corvette DP, while Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow placed 13th in the No. 2 Starworks with Alex Popow BMW/Riley.
Fogarty and Gurney are third in the standings with 293 points, followed by Fittipaldi (291), Barbosa (289), and Popow and Dalziel, 284. Ganassi Racing leads the team standings over Wayne Taylor Racing, 315-304.
In GT, Andy Lally and John Potter drove his Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to victory. It was the team’s first victory of the season.
“I can’t tell you how great today was for everyone,” Potter, who also is the team owner, said after the race. “Everything just came together perfectly and it’s because of the incredibly hard work that the entire team has put in to this. Great strategy, perfect pit stops and a great drive by Andy just made for an outstanding day. There’s still a lot that can happen in Lime Rock, but we’re in as good a position as we could have asked for.”
The No. 44 entry not only won its first race of the Grand-Am race of the season, but gave Porsche its first 2013 win in the series and recaptured the GT class point lead before the final race of the year.
Second was Turner Motorsport BMW M3, which was driven in the final stint by Billy Johnson.
Third was the Marsh Racing Corvette driven by Eric Curran and Boris Said.
Patrick Lindsey and Patrick Long fourth in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche GT3.
Alessandro Balzan entered the race with the GT class points lead and led 37 laps in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 started by Leh Keen, but finished fifth. Lally and Potter now lead Balzan by eight points (313-305), with John Edwards and Robin Liddell – who finished seventh in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro – another five points back.
Tom Long and Sylvain Tremblay took their third GX victory in the No. 70 Mazdaspeed/SpeedSource Mazda 6 while Jim Norman scored his eighth consecutive second-place finish, co-driving with Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman. Norman now leads Joel Miller by 11 points in the GX standings. Miller’s car, started from the pole by Tristan Nunez, went to the garage for lengthy repairs on the parade lap and finished fourth, more than 25 laps down.No Comment