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TAYLOR: Watkins Glen Debrief

Jordan Taylor files his latest Sportscar365 column after ending five-race win streak…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Well, our winning streak has come to an end. It was a tough weekend for us in Watkins Glen.

We knew coming into the weekend that we were going to struggle for outright pace. Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park are going to be tough tracks for us with all the changes we’ve had this year.

Throughout practice we made some good changes on the car and felt like we could have a top five car on pace, and Ricky was able to qualify the car fourth.

We couldn’t touch the top two cars, but we were in a pretty good battle with the 5 car, trading fast laps every time by.

Unfortunately they just got us on the last lap, but it’s a six-hour race, so we weren’t too worried.

Every time you come to Watkins Glen, you don’t know what you’re going to get for weather. It’s like a mini Le Mans where little showers pop up and wet different parts of the track. It always makes things tricky.

The race looked dry, but there’s always that chance of a few sprinkles.

Heading into the race, we knew we couldn’t really race the ESM cars and PR1 car on pace. The JDC car was also really quick. Our main focus was to just run our own race and see what would come to us throughout the six hours.

Ricky made a good start going to the outside of the 5 and 52 into Turn 1. He cleared the 5 and was next to the 52 exiting Turn 1. The 52 had a quick snap oversteer moment and corrected right into us.

It broke a piece in the right front suspension and Ricky had to limp all the way back in. Just a racing incident.

There was no yellow, so our guys thrashed to get it fixed as fast as possible.

We were able to get it done in six laps, and we were back on our way. At that point, it was just about running laps and trying to stretch our fuel windows to try and get our laps back during yellows.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep that intensity and motivation when you’re theoretically starting the race six laps down, but nobody gave up on the team through the six hours. We had flawless pit stops and a smooth race otherwise.

We ended up gaining three of those laps back, but there just wasn’t enough time, nor enough yellows.

Considering how our day started, it was pretty satisfying to end up sixth. We were able to maintain our championship lead, which was the main goal of the weekend.

We head to CTMP this week for the next race. This is a fun part of our season with these great tracks. They both still have that old school feel to a race track. High speed, intense, and little room for error.

We’re going to have a few hundred guests from Konica Minolta there supporting us for the weekend, so hopefully we can put on a good show and get our Cadillac back in victory lane.

Jordan Taylor (@jordan10taylor) is a multi-time IMSA champion, driving for Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

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