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Corvette Wheel Nut Projectile a “Fluke of an Accident”

Corvette Racing loses out on likely GTD Pro win after freak pit lane incident…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Jordan Taylor says the dislodged right-front wheel nut from the the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD that became a projectile into the radiator of Pfaff Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R was a “fluke of an accident” that ultimately cost Corvette Racing a likely second consecutive victory in GTD Pro.

The freak pit lane incident resulted in a drive-through penalty issued to the Corvette for “losing control of equipment” during its stop and relegated Taylor and co-driver Antonio Garcia to a third place class finish in Saturday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

It came after a controlling run in the first half of the race from pole.

While it marked the end of the race for the Pfaff crew, which entered the weekend as GTD Pro points leaders, Taylor and Garcia provisionally take over the championship lead with their podium result.

“All things considered, it was a pretty good save for a points day,” Taylor said.

“Unfortunately because we had such a strong car and I think we had a winning car, it’s tough to swallow to not maximize the points.

“As a whole, we had a decent lead at the beginning of the penalty didn’t destroy our race as much as it could have.

“It was such a fluke of an accident. It’s unfortunate that it happened in the race.”

Benefitting from Corvette’s penalty, The Heart of Racing claimed its first GTD Pro class win with Alex Riberas and Aston Martin factory driver Ross Gunn at the wheel.

The No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 had been running third in class prior to the race-defining pit stop sequence with one hour to go.

“We had a reasonably strong performance all weekend,” said Gunn.

“I don’t think we had the outright pace of Corvette in particular but we’ve been there and we were there to pick up on the issues that the 9 and 3 cars had.

“You’ve got to be there to capitalize on those things. The team did an awesome job. Alex did an incredible job. It was for him bringing it home in the end under a lot of pressure but he did an awesome job.”

Riberas added: “As Ross said, I don’t think we had the pace to challenge the Corvette but we got a bit lucky on that side and were able to capitalize on it.”

Video of the wheel nut entering the radiator of the No. 9 Pfaff Porsche can be found below.


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John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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