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Ricky Taylor Rockets to Long Beach Pole

Ricky Taylor battles Scott Pruett, claims pole at Long Beach…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Ricky Taylor will lead the field to the green in tomorrow’s Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase, following a record-breaking lap in qualifying Friday on the streets of Long Beach.

Taylor took his No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP to a best lap of 1:14.790 in the heated 15-minute session, which saw the second-generation driver battle the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford of Scott Pruett for the pole.

The two drivers exchanged the top spot three times, with Taylor able to record two consecutive laps in the closing moments that put him nearly three-tenths ahead of Pruett.

It marked Taylor’s first TUDOR Championship pole and first in top-level sports car racing in two years. He’ll share driving duties with brother Jordan in tomorrow’s 100-minute race.

The No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Christian Fittipaldi will start third overall and in the P class, ahead of the No. 90 Racing Corvette DP of Michael Valiante in fourth.

Eric Curran completed the top-five in the No. 31 Action Express entry, which paced opening practice this morning.

Both the DeltaWing and Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda struggled in qualifying, setting laps slower than the GT Le Mans pole-sitting BMW, and will line up 7th and 8th overall, respectively.

It came following electrical issues in final practice for the Shank Ligier, which only saw Ozz Negri turn a limited number of laps. John Pew qualified the car.

The SpeedSource Mazda SKYACTIV-D prototypes were the only cars not to set times in qualifying, with the team focusing on preserving the diesel-powered cars for tomorrow’s race.

The Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase gets underway Saturday at 4:05 p.m. PT.

RESULTS: Qualifying

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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