Curtain Call For Daytona Prototypes Sees Tight Battle For Title In Season-Ending Petit Le Mans
The 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale will see the final appearance of the current-generation Daytona Prototype sports car, with a trio of Corvette Daytona Prototypes battling for the Prototype class title in Saturday’s 10-hour Petit Le Mans presented by Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort at Road Atlanta (FOX Sports GO, FS1, Live, 11 a.m. ET).
Action Express Racing has a pair of Corvette DPs separated by only one point, 285-284, entering Round 11 of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with Wayne Taylor Racing seven points behind the leader with 278 points.
Dane Cameron and Eric Curran took over the championship lead with a second-place finish at the most recent race at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas in Action Express Racing’s No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP. They lead teammates and defending two-time Prototype champions Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, drivers of the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP. Recently crowned IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud will co-drive the No. 31 Corvette DP at the finale, while Filipe Albuquerque will join the No. 5 team.
Kenton Koch, the 2015 IMSA Mazda Prototype Lites presented by Cooper Tires champion, has found a ride for Petit Le Mans presented by Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort at Road Atlanta, returning with Performance Tech Motorsports in a bid to capture the Prototype Challenge (PC) title for the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.
After winning the class in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and placing fourth in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida for JDC/Miller Motorsports, Koch finished second with Performance Tech in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen to build a two-point lead in the Patrón Endurance Cup, a competition encompassing the four endurance races on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule.
The No. 15 of Billy Johnson and Scott Maxwell of Multimatic Motorsports captured their fifth win and fifth pole at Circuit of The Americas. This dynamic duo extended their lead in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series, Grand Sport class with one race left this season.
Audi led the first half of round six of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with both R18 cars in commanding style. But in the end, its strong performance, with a trophy for second place, did not produce the desired reward. In the fifth hour, car number 7 lost a lot of time due to a collision in which its driver was not at fault. During an overtaking maneuver, a lapped race car hit the Audi which subsequently spun into the guardrail. The sister car, number 8, that was leading for a long time, lost ground following several incidents and recovered to second place.
Michelin post-race IMSA WeatherTech Championship Lone Star Le Mans
The eyes of the racing world were upon Texas and the Circuit of The Americas as Michelin and its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM class teams took turns in the spotlight at today’s Lone Star Le Mans race.
Corvette Daytona Prototype Carries Taylor Brothers To Lone Star Le Mans Victory, Championship Battle Tightens
Jordan Taylor held off a charging Dane Cameron to win Saturday’s Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of The Americas. It was the third IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory of the season for the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette Daytona Prototype started by Ricky Taylor, enabling the brothers to close to within seven points in the Prototype class battle with only one race remaining.
Cameron ran down Taylor and pulled alongside him with 13 minutes remaining, but Taylor held on to the lead, beating Cameron to the checkered flag by 1.421 seconds. That ended a two-race winning streak for the No. 31 Action Express Racing Whelen Engineering Corvette DP.
"During the strategy meeting coming into this race, we talked about going for the win or going for the points," said Ricky Taylor, who started from the pole. "Today was all about the win. I think the team did a great job. The stops were all great and the strategy was perfect. I feel like we had a great car the last 3 times we were here, and it’s great to finally get a win."
Taylor Brothers Endure Heat, Late Charge To Win IMSA Lone Star Le Mans
Steven Cole Smith, IMSA Wire Service
AUSTIN, Texas - In one of the most brutal, dramatic IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races of the season, the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype ran a textbook race that was so professionally choreographed that at times it was easy to forget they were out front for virtually all of the Lone Star Le Mans.
Well, almost drama-free - driver Jordan Taylor spun after he got back on the throttle and experienced an unexpected traction control issue, but he recovered immediately and lost little ground.
Strategy "was all about winning the race," said Ricky Taylor, Jordan’s brother. "The team executed perfectly."
Both Audi cars on front row at Austin WEC Austin 2016
For the fourth time this year and for the third time in succession Audi has achieved the best starting base: the two Audi R18 cars locked out the front row of the grid for round six of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
As previously at Silverstone and the Nürburgring, car number 7 was unbeatable in qualifying. Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F) will be starting the race at Austin (Texas) on Saturday from pole position. "The car felt great," said Lotterer, who set the fastest single time of 1m 45.703s. "This is fantastic for the whole squad that has been working hard lately." Marcel Fässler completed the result - number 7 posted the best time of all entrants at 1m 45.842s. "Our Audi simply felt perfect in all turns. That was huge fun," said the Swiss.
Ricky Taylor Takes Pole in Tight WeatherTech Championship Qualifying at COTA
Steven Cole Smith, IMSA Wire Service
AUSTIN, Texas - Boy, that was close: Prototype driver Ricky Taylor qualified his No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype on the pole for the Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of The Americas with a lap of one minute, 58.712 seconds, squeezing past Joel Miller in the No. 55 Mazda Prototype by just three-thousandths of a second.
Miller’s best time of 1:58.715 came on lap three of qualifying, while Taylor’s fastest time was on lap four. While the ambient temperature was 87 degrees, the track temperature was 122, meaning peak performance from the tires came early in the session.
Corvette Daytona Prototype Wins Third Pole Of 2016, Taylor Leads Qualifying For Lone Star Le Mans By Slim Margin
By less than a blink of an eye, Ricky Taylor captured his first TOTAL Pole Award of the season, leading IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying for Saturday’s Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of The Americas (live, FS2, 12:30 p.m. ET).
Taylor ran a lap of 1:58.712 (103.1 mph) in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette Daytona Prototype co-driven by his brother Jordan. He beat out Tristan Nunez by a scant 0.003 seconds in a session that saw the top five Prototypes separated by just 0.709 seconds.
"It was very hot and slippery, and the track changes in the heat," said Taylor of his qualifying run in 90-plus degree heat. "It hasn’t been like this all weekend, so it was all about adapting to the track. This was as close as we’re going to get to conditions for tomorrow’s race, so hopefully this is a good read on how it’s going to stack up. It’s going to be a tough race."
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