Magic in the Motor City for Taylor Brothers

Konica Minolta Corvette DP duo delivers third win in four years at Chevrolet Sports Car Classic on Detroit’s Belle Isle street course.

Magic in the Motor City for Taylor Brothers
Race winners Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor, Wayne Taylor Racing Chevrolet Corvette DP
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor
Detroit atmosphere
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor
Cars lined up
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor
Cars lined up
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor
GTD cars lined up for qualifying
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor

Street savvy just might be an understatement when it comes to the ability to deliver victories on temporary circuits by brothers and co-drivers Ricky and Jordan Taylor and their No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP team for Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR).

The Taylor brothers and their lightning-fast pit crew scored the team’s third win in the last four Chevrolet Sports Car Classic IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races Saturday on The Streets of Belle Isle temporary street course on the outskirts of downtown Detroit and, in many ways, they made it all look entirely routine.

From their third spot on the starting grid, each Taylor brother picked up one all-important position on the track during his respective stint of today’s one-hour, 40-minute sprint race. Ricky Taylor’s occurred between the very first and second turn of the race. Jordan Taylor’s came shortly after taking over the driving duties on a restart with 47 minutes to go. And the younger Taylor brother closed the deal by leading the final 29 laps of the race.

This team does a good job wherever we go,

Wayne Taylor

“We weren’t the fastest car, for sure,” said Ricky Taylor, who qualified third late Friday and took the second position from Marc Goosens of the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP between the fast, right-left combination of turns one and two on the 2.36-mile, 13-turn circuit before falling in line behind polesitter Christian Fittipaldi of the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP. “I think the 5 and the 31 (the second Action Express Racing Corvette DP team car) were stronger than us on speed in practice and qualifying.

But we woke up this morning and we said these are the kinds of races that we win, sometimes – when you are not fastest and sometimes it comes together and you still win the race, somehow. I think the move of the race was definitely Jordan on that (midrace) restart. We had one opportunity to overtake, obviously from second to first, and he made great work through the traffic on the restart and controlled the race from there. It’s a really good day for Chevrolet with a 1-2 finish in Detroit.”

Jordan Taylor restarted second after taking over from his older brother during a pit stop under caution shortly after the race’s midpoint. It was a “quickie yellow” for a relatively minor incident on-track, and competitors were not re-ordered by class as they would be during a standard caution period. Thus, there were several slower Prototype Challenge- and GT Daytona-class cars that restarted ahead of Taylor and then-race-leader Joao Barbosa, who took over from Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Corvette DP.

When the green flag waved, Taylor took advantage of a line of Prototype Challenge cars, using them as a pick as he slid past Barbosa for the lead. He easily held off Barbosa during two subsequent restarts and crossed the finish line 1.7 seconds ahead of the No. 5 Corvette.

“It was kind of odd how we restarted in the middle of the pack,” Taylor said. “The first class leader was picked up by the pace car, which wasn’t a Prototype, so we were behind the GTD and PC cars. I was behind (Joao) Barbosa and the track went green and, going through the kink, I saw he wanted to go to the inside the PC cars.

Both of them went to block each other, so he got pinned in and I just kind of sailed around the outside on a clean line. I was able to get through a couple of GTD cars quicker than he did. From there, I was just trying to manage the gap. They were definitely fast, but I think in traffic we could definitely manage that better and I could pull away here and there.”

In addition to being WTR’s third victory in its last four visits to Belle Isle, it was also the team’s fifth victory in the last seven races on temporary street circuits overall. Jordan Taylor co-drove the No. 10 WTR Corvette DP to the Detroit victory en route to the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series driver championship. The Taylor brothers followed that up in 2014 in the first IMSA-sanctioned race held at the track.

This past April, the Taylor brothers made it two consecutive victories on the only other temporary circuit on which the series competes – the Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.) seaside street course. Last year’s Detroit race was won by the No. 31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Eric Curran and Dane Cameron in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP. The Taylor brothers finished sixth here last year after a late-race penalty for contact deemed avoidable while running second.

Also, for Jordan Taylor, today’s win was his fourth class victory in the last five Chevrolet Sports Car Classics at Detroit, having started the streak with a victory in the GT-class No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Camaro with Eric Curran in 2012.

The victory was the 12th in major North American sports car competition for both Taylor brothers, and it moved the team from fourth to first in the WeatherTech Championship standings, tied with 151 points with the No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP of Barbosa and Fittipaldi. The No. 31 Corvette DP started the day as the points leader but was involved in an early incident with the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP.

“This team does a good job wherever we go,” team owner Wayne Taylor said. “We have two really good drivers with no difference in lap times. We have a really good engine partner in ECR (Earnhardt Childress Racing) and a really good partner in Team Chevy. And Konica Minolta, we are very, very thankful to have been together with them as long as we have.

These people are all very special, and this is really for them. We didn’t have a good car in qualifying here this weekend. Of course, when that’s the case, our engineers and staff do what they need to do and, seemingly more often than not, they find a way to still get the job done. The drivers and the pit crew do the rest.”

Round six on the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule is the traditional Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on Sunday, July 3. Live coverage of the race in its entirety begins at 10 a.m. EDT on FS1. In the meantime, the Taylor brothers will join the factory Corvette Racing effort at the 24 Hours of Le Mans June 18 and 19. They left immediately after today’s race to participate in Sunday’s mandatory Le Mans test session.

Wayne Taylor Racing

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About this article

Series IMSA
Event Detroit
Sub-event Saturday race
Location The Raceway on Belle Isle
Drivers Ricky Taylor , Jordan Taylor
Teams Wayne Taylor Racing
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