DANVILLE, Va. – official release — Brian Cleary/Getty Images North America photo — Competing in a rare substitute role, Jordan Taylor stepped in and put the No. 01 CKS Autosport Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R on the Grand Sport (GS) pole in Friday’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge qualifying at Virginia Int’l Raceway.
Taylor is substituting for Lawson Aschenbach in the Camaro co-driven by Eric Curran, and ran a lap of 1:58.204 (99.591 mph) to win his TOTAL Pole Award in his eighth series start.
It was another career first for the Floridian at VIR. Taylor made his professional racing debut at the circuit in a Continental Tire Challenge race in 2007 at age 16, and won his first professional race at the track in 2011, winning in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series GT class with Bill Lester in a Camaro.
“I knew it was a good car, but to get the pole by that much – six-tenths of a second – was a bit of a surprise,” Taylor said. “The CKS Autosport Camaro Z/28.R works well around VIR, and I’m happy to help the CKS guys. Hopefully, we can get a repeat win for them. I love GT racing, and any time I can get back in a Camaro I’m happy.”
CKS Autosport is coming off its first victory of the season, when Aschenbach led only the final quarter-mile before taking the checkered flag at Road America.
“Jordan is doing a wonderful job,” said Curran, a 15-time winner in the series. “We’re working well together. We made a few changes to the setup today, and it really worked for qualifying.”
Kurt Rezzetano also had a career-best qualifying effort, posting a lap of 1:58.828 (99.068 mph) in the No. 32 Phoenix Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302R co-driven by Andrew Aquilante.
“I got a good tow off the Rum Bum car (Nick Longhi in the No. 13 Porsche 911) and pretty much got everything I could out of the car,” Rezzetano said. “I think Jordan Taylor’s time is pretty impressive, especially since he’s never driven that car before. That kid can really drive.”
Sharing the second row will be Lucas Bize, who ran 1:58.974 (98.946 mph) in the No. 78 Racers Edge Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302R co-driven by David Levine. Andy Lally took fourth with a lap of 1:59.089 (98.850 mph) in the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R.
Andrew Davis originally qualified fourth in the No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R co-driven by Robin Liddell, but the car failed post-qualifying technical inspection and will start at the back of the GS field.