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Jordan Taylor 'Drops In' For Continental Tire Challenge Qualifying, Wins TOTAL Pole Award In CKS Autosport Camaro Z/28.R At VIR
Posted by: newsla on Aug 23, 2014 - 06:33 AM
Sports Cars
Jordan Taylor 'Drops In' For Continental Tire Challenge Qualifying, Wins TOTAL Pole Award In CKS Autosport Camaro Z/28.R At VIR


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 International Raceway.

 

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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.

The two-hour, 30-minute race begins at 2:05 p.m. ET on Saturday (live, IMSA.com).

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.

GS points leader Trent Hindman will start fifth in the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 co-driven by John Edwards.

“I thought we had the handling to have a front-row car, but it’s difficult when you get into a horsepower battle with the muscle cars,” said Hindman, who leads Davis and Liddell by 11 points, 242-231. “We’re not worried. We’ve got a great handling race car, and we’ll be fine for the race.”

Nineteen of the 21 GS qualifiers bettered Ken Wilden’s existing track record of 2:02.611 (96.011 mph), set in 2009. Saturday’s race will be the 14th for the Continental Tire Challenge dating back to 2001, but the first since 2011.

Nonnamaker, Mosing Share All-Porsche Cayman Front Row In ST

While the conditions improved enough to allow GS competitors to qualify, rain just prior to the Street Tuner (ST) qualifying session led IMSA officials to abandon qualifying in favor of a 15-minute practice session. The class grid was set according to points putting Will Nonnamaker on the pole for the first time in 11 years. He joins Jeff Mosing on the front row of the ST grid.

Nonnamaker will start the No. 42 Team Sahlen’s Porsche Cayman co-driven by his brother Wayne, the ST points leader. Mosing drives the No. 56 Murillo Racing/Mosing Motorcars Porsche Cayman co-driven by Eric Foss, who enters the race eight points behind Nonnamaker, 232-224.

“We’re very fortunate to be starting up front, because sometimes incidents happen on the first lap,” said Will Nonnamaker, whose last pole was in GS at Mid-Ohio in 2003. “There’s a definite advantage to starting up front. I think we have the pace to stay in the top five. We can’t worry about the championship at this point – we need to keep getting those results and keep earning our points.”

Murillo Racing team owner Ken Murillo was not disappointed to see the qualifying session abandoned. After running a BMW 328i in the opening eight races, the team is continuing to work on its new Cayman which debuted with a 13th-place finish in the most recent race at Road America.

“That was win-win for us,” Murillo said. “We needed an extra practice, and it’s great to be starting up front.”

Starting in the second row will be Tyler Cooke, driving the No. 81 BimmerWorld Racing 328i with Greg Liefooghe, and defending ST champion Mike LaMarra, who won two weeks ago at Road America in the No. 23 Burton Racing BMW 128i he shares with fellow champion Terry Borcheller.


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