Wayne Taylor Racing Qualifying Report

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach

Date: April 11, 2014
Event: Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase (Round 3 of 11)
Series: Prototype division of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship
Location: Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.) Street Circuit (1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit)
Pole Winner: Scott Pruett of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (1:15.325 at 94.056 mph)
Wayne Taylor Racing: 5th by Ricky Taylor (1:15.743 at 93.537 mph)

The newly christened No. 10 Konica Minolta Chevrolet Corvette Dallara Daytona Prototype of Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) will start Saturday’s Tudor United SportsCar Championship Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase from the inside of the third row after qualifying Friday afternoon on the Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.) temporary seaside street circuit.

Ricky Taylor, who helped introduce new primary sponsor Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc., at a press conference earlier in the day, turned a fast qualifying lap of 1 minute, 15.743 seconds (93.537 mph) around the 1.968-mile, 11-turn circuit. It was good for fifth among 21 Prototype- and GTLM-class entries set to take the green flag for Saturday’s one-hour, 40-minute sprint race.

“No matter where we qualified, it was a great day because we introduced our brand new primary sponsor Konica Minolta,” said Taylor, who co-drove to finishes of second and seventh, respectively, at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring to start the year alongside Max “The Ax” Angelelli and his brother Jordan Taylor. “It’s always really cool when you leave the pit for your qualifying run and there’s a crowd of executives and excited sponsors here to see us race. That really gets you even more motivated. As for our qualifying run, I’ll have to say it’s not where we thought we would end up. We were on a particular strategy and the red flag that broke up the session kind of threw all that out the window. Top-five in our very first race here – we did it on a good lap at the end when we really had to go. We have a good inside (row) starting position, so that’s a good thing. It’s a very cool track. It’s a lot more technical than what you see on the track map. But when you get out there, there are a lot of little details, like some corners where you really have to charge the corner and others you where have to be really patient. I think with the short distance, it’s going to be a super-intense race. Every opportunity that presents itself, you’re going to have to try and take it. And one good thing that takes some pressure off Jordan and I is that we know we have the best crew on pit road, so that will hopefully lend itself to a track position advantage whenever we have to stop.”

The top-five qualifiers for Saturday’s Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach are:

1. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (No. 01 Ford Riley) with Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas (1:15.325 at 94.056 mph).

2. Michael Shank Racing (No. 60 Ford Riley) with Oswaldo Negri and John Pew (1:15.366 at 94.005 mph).

3. Action Express Racing (No. 5 Corvette) with Sebastien Bourdais, Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa (1:15.571 at 93.750 mph).

4. OAK Racing (No. 42 Nissan Morgan) with Olivier Pla and Gustavo Yacaman (1:15.668 at 93.630 mph).

5. Wayne Taylor Racing (No. 10 Corvette) with Ricky Taylor and Jordan Taylor (1:15.743 at 93.537 mph).

Race time is 6 p.m. EDT Saturday with live television provided by FOX Sports 1. Live streaming video will be provided by IMSA.com beginning at 5:40 p.m. Live radio by the Motor Racing Network (MRN) will be streamed at IMSA.com, and MRNRadio.com, as well as select MRN affiliates. Check local listings. Live timing and scoring during all on-track sessions can be found at IMSA.com and via the IMSA smartphone app.