Yet Another Podium in Canada Is A-OK, Eh?

Ricky, Jordan Taylor Overcome Early Off-Course Excursion for Gutsy Third-Place Finish
To Widen Tudor United SportsCar Series Points Lead at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Date: July 13, 2014
Event: Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix (Round 7 of 11)
Series: Prototype division of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship
Location: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (2.459-mile, 10-turn road course)
Start/Finish: 6th / 3rd (Running, completed 133 of 133 laps)
Winner: Gustavo Yacaman and Olivier Pla of OAK Racing (Nissan)

ChevAn early off-course excursion was not enough to completely derail the efforts of brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor in Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, where they and their No. 10 Konica Minolta Chevrolet Corvette Dallara Daytona Prototype for Wayne Taylor Racing teammates rallied for a gutsy third-place finish and widened their points lead in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship standings.

It was the fifth podium finish in seven races this season for the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP, and it put the Taylor brothers and the team five points ahead of the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP and its driver duo of Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa atop the series standings with four events to go. Fittipaldi and Barbosa finished fourth in today’s two-hour, 45-minute race on this 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course some 90 minutes north and east of Toronto.

While no one was able to pose a threat to the No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan Nissan LMP2 Prototype of the polesitting Gustavo Yacaman and Olivier Pla, who led all 133 laps in scoring their first victory of the season by a comfortable 7.886-second margin today, it was a trio of Corvette DP teams who grabbed the second, third and fourth positions.

The runner-up spot was decided 23 minutes from the finish when Richard Westbrook and his No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP drove past Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP and beat him across the finish line by 13 seconds. Taylor was able to maintain a comfortable margin over Barbosa in the No. 5 Corvette DP, which finished 50 seconds behind in the fourth position.

“It was a tough day,” said Taylor, who was victorious in a 2008 IMSA Prototype Lites race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. “We were off-strategy from the start and, basically, we were flat out from the green. It’s a physical track, especially when the car is difficult to drive. We were fighting the whole way and, unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace (to win the race) but we salvaged some good points in the championship and that is what’s going to count at the end of the day.”

The off-course excursion for the No. 10 team came on lap 15, 18 minutes into today’s 133-lap race, when 24-year-old Ricky Taylor drifted wide into the high-speed, right-hand turn three. The racecar suffered no apparent damage, but the front end was caked with grass and mud, necessitating an unscheduled pit stop to clear the debris. Fortunately, the stop occurred within one of the team’s planned pit windows and enabled the race distance to be completed on just two more scheduled stops, like the rest of the field.

Taylor resumed in seventh place, nearly an entire lap behind the race-leading No. 42 LMP2 car of Yacaman, but was back in the top-five by the 24-minute mark after Fittipaldi was forced to make an unscheduled stop of his own thanks to a delaminated tire resulting from contact with a GT-class competitor, and then a pass of Tristan Nunez in the No. 07 Mazda LMP2. Taylor was up to fourth at the 42-minute mark when he passed John Pew in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford, and then inherited third place when Scott Sharp pitted in the No. 1 Extreme Motorsports LMP2 car at the 48-minute mark.

He held down the third position until pitting at the one-hour, seven-minute mark for tires, fuel and driver change.

“We knew coming into the race that, if the P2s were ahead of us on track, we really weren’t going to race them very hard,” said Taylor, who ended up having to pay a visit to the track medical facility after his stint to treat symptoms of dehydration. “So, we’ll let them have this weekend and we’ll go to Indy and keep pushing for wins. Right now, we’re in a good championship position so, hopefully, we’ll extend our lead there. I think the car was very good today. I obviously made that stupid mistake – ran out of talent in turn three, there – but it was at the perfect time that I ran out of talent because it kept us right on strategy to make the race on three stops. Jordan did a really good job, and the team did a really great job to make up for my mistake.”

The 23-year-old Jordan Taylor resumed in fifth place after taking over from his older brother. He moved into fourth with a pass of Barbosa in the No. 5 Corvette DP at the one-hour, 14-minute mark, then passed Ryan Dalziel in the No. 1 Extreme Speed LMP2 car at the 90-minute mark for third place. A troublesome pit stop by Westbrook in the No. 90 Corvette DP enabled Taylor to slide into the second position with a little more than an hour remaining. He stayed there until pitting one final time for tires and fuel with 46 minutes left to go, returning to the track in fourth place with the three competitors ahead of him still needing to pit.

Taylor moved back into second place as the top-three pitted over the next two laps with only Pla in the eventual race-winning No. 42 OAK Racing LMP2 car able to stay ahead of him while Westbrook in the No. 90 Corvette DP was a close third. After holding off Westbrook for the next 17 minutes, the winner of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen was finally able to get by Taylor to steal the runner-up spot.

“Well, I’ll have to say I am happy, all things considered,” said team owner Wayne Taylor. “We have extended the lead over the 5 car in the championship. Ricky wasn’t well in the first stint, so we had a bit of an off, but the guys did a great job and, considering where we were in qualifying (sixth), I am happy with the results.”

After taking next weekend off, the 2014 Tudor United SportsCar Championship resumes with the Brickyard Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Formula 1 road course Friday, July 25. Race time is 5:45 p.m. EDT with FOX Sports 1 providing a delayed television broadcast of the two-hour, 45-minute race beginning at 7 p.m.