Wayne Taylor Racing came back from deep within the field to win the Chevrolet SportsCar Classic as Michael Shank Racing’s No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 took the GT Daytona win; the luxury sports car manufacturer’s first on American soil in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Jordan Taylor crossed the finish line 4.95 seconds ahead of Dane Cameron in the No. 31 Action Express Racing entry for a Cadillac DPi-V.R one-two.
The win came after a hard night of work for the Wayne Taylor Racing crew, who raced to repair their Cadillac after an incident in qualifying. Ricky Taylor made contact with the wall coming out of Turn 4, forcing the Cadillac to start today’s race from ninth position.
Ricky Taylor jumped up two positions on the open lap, making quick work of Renger Van Der Zande in the Visit Florida Racing Multimatic/Riley and Ed Brown in the Tequila Patron ESM Nissan. The No. 10 made its way to fourth before the first round of pit stops, which occurred during the first and only Full Course Yellow of the race.
Two separate incidents seemed as though they were coordinated when the No. 33 Riley Motorsports AMG GT3 bounced off the wall in Turn 8, destroying the right front corner of the car. Ben Keating was forced to retire the car while another incident involved Kenny Habul and Van Der Zande. The No. 75 Sun1Energy Mercedes slammed into the prototype, burying both machines deep into the tires. Neither was able to continue on with the race.
Key to WTR’s win, pit strategy saw the No. 10 dive to pit lane just 16 laps after the first round of stops. It was speculated that the Cadillac could go 40 minutes on one tank of fuel, which was exactly how much time was left in the race. Jordan Taylor came back out of the pits in third, many seconds down from the leading No. 31 of Cameron. The No. 70 Mazda RT24-P of Joel Miller followed the Cadillac’s lead, pitting just a few laps later. As the gap shrank between the two prototypes, Cameron dived to the pits for fuel. Taylor was able to rush by pit exit by the time the No. 31 returned the track with 22 minutes remaining. The two were separated by less than five seconds when the checkers flew, followed by Miller.
In GTD, it was the duo of Katherin Legge and Andy Lally who were able to steal the show in the eye-catching NSX GT3. Legge started second in the GTD field, chasing the No. 57 of Lawson Aschenbach in the Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS.
It was Acura verses Audi for at the front of the GTD field through the first and only round of pit stops during the yellow. Michael Shank Racing crew was able to get the No. 93 back out of pit lane at the front of the field with a fresh Lally behind the wheel.
Alessandro Balzan joined the fight after Christina Nieslen jumped out of the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458. The best dog fight of the field in the closing moments of the race was between Balzan’s Ferrari and the sister NSX of Jeff Segal. The two swapped positions with 20 minutes remaining, but Segal dropped to fifth before the checkers. The No. 57 Audi experienced mechanical issues after 44 laps of Detroit mayhem, forcing Andrew Davis to the pits from third position. Madison Snow fought his way from fourth in the closing laps to take the final spot on the podium.
James French and Pato O’Ward continued their dominance of the Prototype Challenge field in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports entry. French started from the pole and handed his Oreca over to O’Ward during the yellow and the duo never looked back. Bruno Junqueria and Tomy Drissi finished second in PC in the No. 26 Bar1 Motorsports entry just ahead of Don Y0unt and Ryan Lewis in the No. 20 sister car.
The next round of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship is set for July 2, where the field with be joined by the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen. The six hour class is the third leg of the four-round Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.