The Taylor brothers Ricky and Jordan have triumphed again on the streets of Long Beach – repeating their victory from last year aboard their Chevrolet-powered Daytona Prototype.
The pair scored a 2.958 second victory over the two Action Express Racing machiens of Joao Barbosa/Christian Fittipaldi and Dane Cameron/Eric Curran.
Ricky Taylor made the jump to the lead on the opening lap and the duo spent 72 or the 75 laps at the front of the pack. The victory backed up their success last year and actually is their third consecutive top-two finish on the streets of Long Beach.
“I was pretty frustrated after qualifying, I kind of messed it up, the guys gave me a great car,” Ricky said.
“I planned so many scenarios for the start of the race. Sometimes when you’re second, it’s a nice position to be in, and you’re not the first person to feel the grip levels and you can be the one attacking.
“He gave me some room, there was some rubbing, but it was fun. From there it’s really hard to pass under race conditions. Then I gave it over the Jordan, and it was a horrible half of the race to watch because I couldn’t do anything from the pits.
“I thought we were going to be a little more row by row for the start. It was nice because I was in front of the Mazda and they have a lot of acceleration between 2nd and 3rd gear, and I think Christian might have been thinking the same thing so he jumped a little early. But the positive of being second is being able to see whats going on ahead of you. From the lead, once you brake, you’re committed, you don’t get to watch anyone else do that.”
Ricky Taylor pitted on lap 37 to his brother Jordan but not even a late race yellow flag – which closed the field up – could push them from the lead.
“The 5 was on me from the get-go when I got in the car. And then when the yellow came I didn’t know what to expect on cold tires,” Jordan Taylor said.
“Then I saw the 35 was all over the 5, so that was going to take some pressure off since he’d be looking both front and rear. Then we didn’t catch much traffic until 10-15 minutes to the end, and we were able to just keep pace until the end.
“Sprint races, with only 1 stop, are all about execution, even down to driver changes. Our success at street courses, comes down to the same thing – last year at Detroit, we had a good pit stop, the whole team package is what really matters when it comes to street races like this – and our luck.”
The result was a return to form for the duo who suffered through a disappointing 11th place finish in Sebring. After today’s result however, they are now only four points out of the championship lead.
The two Mazda factory prototypes continued to show strong pace with fourth and fifth place today – their best ever finish in the IMSA championship. The team now have their sights set on success at the next round of the championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The PC class victory went to Misha Goikhberg and Stephen Simpson who took advantage of the misfortune of multiple series champions CORE autosport who were eventually forced into retirement after contact with a GTLM BMW.
— Wayne Taylor Racing (@WayneTaylorRcng) April 17, 2016
— Action Express (@AX_Racing) April 17, 2016
— Mazda Racing (@MazdaRacing) April 17, 2016