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Wayne Taylor Cadillac Wins Fifth In A Row

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, June 3 2017

The Taylor brothers and No. 10 Cadillac of Wayne Taylor Racing is on top again. (File photo)

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The No. 10 Cadillac DPi IMSA WeatherTech Series entry of Wayne Taylor Racing stayed perfect on the season Saturday winning on Detroit’s Belle Isle street course.

With brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor driving, the car won for the fifth time in five races in 2017.

“This Cadillac has been unstoppable all year,” Jordan Taylor said in Victory Lane. “Five straight. It’s great to win here in Detroit again.”

With Jordan Taylor at the wheel, it beat the No. 31 Cadillac DPi of Action Express to the finish line by 4.9 seconds.

The victory came even though the car, with Ricky Taylor driving, wrecked big on Friday and needed a major rebuild over night.

“Holy cow, I almost ruined it yesterday,” Ricky Taylor, who suffered an ankle injury in the wreck, said. “The car was in a million pieces but our Konica Minolta guys made it like new this morning. I can’t thank them enough.”

Joel Miller finished third in the No. 70 Mazda DPi entry.

For many IMSA competitors the conclusion of Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic marks the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the race’s Test Day on Sunday. Among those making the trek immediately from Detroit to France are the Taylors, who would like to translate their IMSA success into a 24 Hours of Le Mans victory.

“It’s always good to have confidence in yourself, especially at a place like Le Mans,” said Jordan Taylor. “It’s a stressful event, but coming out of here with a win will help me sleep a little better on the plane tonight.”

In GT Daytona Saturday, Andy Lally took the checkered flag in the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3. He and teammate Katherine Legge beat the Ferrari 488 Ferrari of Alessandro Balzan to the line by 2.4 seconds. The win was the first for newcomer Acura in the series.

“Boy, Michael Shank Racing and this Acura NSX have come so far in a short amount of time,” Lally said. “This is the trickiest circuit we have been to this year. It really beats the car up, it’s hard to drive. This thing handles amazing and obviously the power plant’s good.”

Legge qualified the No. 93 Acura second Friday afternoon and ran comfortably in second place throughout her driving stint before pitting under caution just past the 30-minute mark in the race. With track position at a premium, team owner Mike Shank decided to change only two tires during the pit stop, which vaulted Lally into the lead.

That pit stop made all the difference. Lally managed to keep the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of  Balzan and co-driver Chistina Nielsen in his mirrors for the remainder of the race and went on to win by 2.441 seconds.

“I wanted three tires, because I wanted a right-front hot tire when we came out,” Lally said. “(Shank) made the decision to just put in left sides to save time. I plugged my last belt in and he said, ‘Go.’ We had another second on them. It was perfect tires and a really fast driver change. We knew the right front would be OK by the end, but the right rear was really just skating over by the end of the race.”

In addition to making history for the manufacturer, Legge made personal history, earning her first career WeatherTech Championship race victory.

“It’s a testament to the team,” Legge said. “The team gave us a car that was capable of winning. The team has really been working hard between each race. We’ve been strong at points, but today we put it together. Today was the longest hour of my life watching Andy drive. I was telepathically talking to him. It was harder to watch than actually drive. Thank you to everyone who has given us a chance to put together this car and this ride.”

Third was the Lamborghini Hurrican GT3 of Madison Snow.

The Performance Tech Motorsports duo of James French and Pato O’Ward won their fourth consecutive Prototype Challenge race to start the season.

Brent O’Neill’s Performance Tech has been a fixture in the IMSA paddock for years, but recently found another gear, as evidenced by the team’s perfect start. The domination has continued throughout the season, with French and O’Ward perfect in wins and only short one TOTAL Pole Award. In the midst of heated battles in the Prototype, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona classes, the pair have quietly cruised to victory after victory.

“It was a different race, pretty much the whole race, in my stint and James’ stint, we were saving fuel,” said O’Ward. “We were trying to do it on one stop. If there were enough cautions, it could have been push, push, push. Otherwise, I just tried to coast around.

“We’ll go off to Watkins Glen and hopefully we can keep the streak going.”

 

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, June 3 2017
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