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TAYLOR: Road America Debrief

Jordan Taylor files his latest Sportscar365 column after Road America..

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Road America was a tough weekend from start to finish. We went into the weekend with the same mindset as Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, just to win the race. With where we are in points, there’s no reason for us to race conservatively.

The first day of practice was pretty much a wash, literally. It rained all day, and for the first session, there was too much standing water, so we sat it out.

The second session had a 25-minute red flag, so in all, we had about thirty minutes of usable practice. Thankfully the rest of the weekend was looking dry.

Saturday was a quick one-hour session and then straight into qualifying. With Road America being the longest track on our calendar, an hour session goes by quickly when each lap takes roughly two minutes. We saw quickly that we were going to have some work to do on the car.

We threw a bunch of changes at the car for qualifying and Ricky was able to put us P4, only two-tenths off the quickest Corvette, which was a big step forward from practice.

For the morning warmup, we threw another bunch of changes at the car and it was another step in the right direction, but we still needed more.

For the race, we took some risks setup-wise. You usually don’t want to race a car that is untested, but we didn’t have much to lose in the championship. The engineers made some calls, and it was the best car we had all weekend.

Ricky was able to get the car up to P2 on track, and during our first stop, our guys got us out in the lead. Ricky led for the rest of his stint pretty comfortably.

When I hopped in the car we had a small issue rolling off, and we lost enough time to drop us to P3. I was running by myself for the next 10-15 laps.

About halfway through my stint I was going through the Turn 7, the right kink, and felt a bit of a knock in the car.

Then going through the Carousel I had a big moment going in and through the middle of the corner, which gave me the warning that something might have broken. The problem with this situation is that sometimes it’s just some pickup on the tires (marbles or sand), which will clear up in the next few corners, and other times it is a serious situation.

So in your head you’re fighting yourself, is something broken and do I need to slow down, or do I keep pushing to clean the tires off?

Unfortunately, I was heading into probably one of the worst corners in the world to have a question mark in your head, the kink. I decided to go a little conservative, and thankfully I did.

I went onto the radio to say I think something might be wrong going into the corner, and just as I lifted, the car went sideways going into the kink.

We pitted that lap and found that something had gone wrong in the right rear, which would take us out of contention.

It wasn’t our weekend, but can take a few positives out of it and move on to COTA.

Jordan Taylor (@jordan10taylor) is the 2013 Rolex Sports Car Series DP champion, driving for Wayne Taylor Racing in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Corvette Racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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