Ricky And Jordan Taylor Carrying A Wave Of Momentum Into The Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Story & Photos By: IMSA SERIES MEDIA
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. –April 4, 2017- Saying Jordan and Ricky Taylor and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team are carrying momentum into this Saturday’s BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach is an understatement.
With back-to-back victories in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida to open the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the brothers are off to a perfect start for their father’s Wayne Taylor Racing team.
Add in the fact that the Taylor brothers have won each of the last two WeatherTech Championship races on the streets of Long Beach, and “momentum” doesn’t seem like a strong enough word to use, especially when looking beyond this weekend’s race to the next two events on the schedule at Circuit of The Americas on May 6 and Detroit’s Belle Isle Park on June 3.
“(In the last three years at) Long Beach, we were second and then two wins,” said Jordan Taylor following the team’s Sebring victory last month. “Then COTA and Detroit, which we won last year. We go with a lot more momentum than in the past.”
However, Jordan also pointed out that this year’s 100-minute Long Beach race will be different than it has been in the recent past. For starters, this year’s race will see the Prototype Challenge (PC) class replaced by a 16-car GT Daytona (GTD) class field along with nine GT Le Mans (GTLM) entries and 10 Prototypes for a WeatherTech Championship record field of 35 cars.
Secondly, every one of those 10 Prototypes are brand new this season, with a smaller fuel capacity than the previous generation race cars. That places a premium not only on the ability of the drivers, but also the team on pit road.
“Long Beach is cutthroat with one pit stop,” Taylor said. “This year, it might be two because the fuel capacity is so small. It’s so much on the race team to get it done.”
The No. 10 team certainly has gotten it done lately, but they’ve got plenty of competition. Look no further than the other two Cadillac DPis in the field, the No. 31 Whelen Engineering machine shared by defending WeatherTech Championship Prototype champions Dane Cameron and Eric Curran, and the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R of two-time Prototype champions Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, who finished second to the No. 10 team at both Daytona and Sebring. Both teams are primed for victory at any time, and this weekend could be it.
Outside of the Cadillacs – which swept the top-three spots at Sebring – a couple of Gibson V8-powered LM P2 cars showed flashes of brilliance in the first two endurance races to start the year and could be tough to beat in Saturday’s first sprint race of the season.