TUSC: Taylor Brothers Rise to the Occasion in Canada; Take Second TUDOR Championship Win of 2015

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BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – official series release — Scott R. LePage/LAT for IMSA photo —

Jordan Taylor held off Dane Cameron in an exciting sprint to the finish Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, beating his rival to the checkered flag by 0.477 seconds to score the second victory of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season for the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance.

“I thought it was going to be a long miserable day, but we kept going,” the younger Taylor admitted. “We got by the 60 (Ozz Negri) who was being held up in traffic. It was lap after lap by myself, so it was a bit of a boring race in that respect. We were pitting at such weird times and taking two tires instead of four.”

“Honestly, I didn’t know what was going on. I just kept driving.”

Ricky Taylor claimed the team’s third consecutive TOTAL Pole Award in Saturday’s qualifying session and led the opening 27 laps of Sunday’s race around the 2.459-mile circuit. However, Ricky Taylor lost the lead to Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP while experiencing power steering issues, which eventually went away after he turned the car over to his brother.

“I started the race and the car was really good and really comfortable,” the elder Taylor brother added. “I pulled a one- or two-second lead over the field. Then the power steering started to lock out, and it was getting worse and worse. Once it locks the driver is doing one-hundred-percent of what the power steering is supposed to be doing. I’m glad it righted itself though, and Jordan was able to get us this win.”

A turning point came with 12 minutes remaining when Joao Barbosa pitted with a cut left-rear tire in the No. 5 Corvette DP. Cameron was leading at the time, but made a scheduled pit stop for fuel three minutes later in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP started by Eric Curran. That stop was extended by a few critical seconds when the team changed the left-rear tire as a precautionary measure.

That gave the lead to Jordan Taylor, who had passed Negri in the No. 60 AERO Ligier JS P2/Honda for third place moments before Barbosa’s pit stop. Cameron exited the pits two seconds behind Taylor, and spent the final eight laps gradually narrowing that gap.

Negri and John Pew took third, giving Michael Shank Racing its third podium result in four races. Negri drove the final two hours without power steering.

Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante took fourth in the No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP, after Westbrook took the position from Barbosa in the closing laps.  Unofficially, that allowed the VisitFlorida.com team to add two points to its advantage. They now lead the No. 5 Action Express team by seven points, 221-214, with Cameron and Curran another four points back.

Porsche North America’s Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet led all but five of the 128 laps to score the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class victory in Sunday’s race.

It was the first victory of the season for the drivers and the team.

“The car was clearly the best car all weekend. It’s a testament to what the whole 911 crew has done all weekend,” Tandy smiled. “We tried to pull a gap to the others, but the caution came out and negated our advantage. Even though perhaps the other two Porsches were so fast, it shows what the team has done. We did our strategy, our two stops and it’s just how you want every race to go. (It may have been) a bit boring, but great for us.”

“It’s been 18 months since I won a race in this series, and 18 months since I’ve been on a podium in this series. So it feels like there is a bit of momentum coming behind the Porsche. We won at Le Mans, and Porsche won at Watkins Glen. Everyone is excited, enjoying the racing. And we’re all committed to making our weekends better, and it makes a big difference when everyone is happy. So this is great.”

Tandy won the pole position on Saturday in the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR, becoming the first repeat pole GTLM winner in the history of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and breaking a streak of 16 different pole winners beginning with the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

In the Prototype Challenge class, Jon Bennett and Colin Braun drove a trouble-free race to capture their first victory of the season in the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09.

The victory allowed the CORE autosport teammates to extend their lead in the point standings with four races remaining.

CREDIT: IMSA Communications

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