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Taylor Recalls “Hard Racing” With Van der Zande for Lead

Ricky Taylor recounts duel for lead with van der Zande that ended with spin by Dutchman…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Ricky Taylor has recalled the “hard racing” he had with Renger van der Zande while battling for the lead of the Lexus Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio that ultimately ended with the Dutchman spinning his No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.

The race’s one-and-only restart with 1 hour and 9 minutes to go set the stage for the remainder of the two hour and 40-minute contest, with Taylor in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 getting alongside van der Zande’s Cadillac, which had been started by pole-sitter Sebastien Bourdais.

“I knew [Renger] was fresh in the car,” Taylor told Sportscar365 post-race. “I had a stint driving-wise so I knew I was going to attack.

“When he accelerated out of the last corner he got big wheel-spin; the car was all over the place. I got a little run into [Turn] 1. 

“You [normally] can’t get a run out of [Turn] 1 because it’s so high speed so I knew he was struggling. 

“I got a run into [Turn] 2 and I knew he was battling and I knew that was our only shot. I went to the outside. 

“I put my car well alongside. From there, I don’t know exactly what happened; I need to see a replay. All I know is I felt a light touch. I was almost going off anyways. 

“I felt a light touch and that put me two wheels [off course] and then I went through [Turn 5], I lost grip, went a little wide. I tried not to push him off; I don’t know if I did or not.

“Then next thing I knew going into [Turn] 6, he was backwards. 

“It was hard racing. I felt a touch, I felt me touch him. At the end of the day of it was good, hard racing.”

IMSA ruled no further action on series of incidents, which saw van der Zande drop 20 seconds behind to sixth and Taylor take over the lead and claim the eventual win with he and WTR co-driver Filipe Albuquerque.

“When I got in I struggled with the tires on the restart,” van der Zande explained. “I tried to keep the position in first but lost control of the car by a little touch.

“It’s tough to keep a fast car behind when dealing with low grip. It’s a shame. I think we had a good shot at winning with a good car and a good strategy.”

Taylor credited the strength of the No. 01 Cadillac, which started on pole, especially during Bourdais’ race-leading stint.

“Early on in the race it didn’t look like we had a shot to win so it means even more,” Taylor said.

“When you find a way and you take the opportunities when you get them, at the end of the year, hopefully that’s the kind of move that wins us a championship.” 

Taylor: “We Need to Keep This Intensity Up”

While now being in the sole DPi points lead after entering the weekend tied with Meyer Shank Racing’s Oliver Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist, Taylor said they can’t let their guard down in the races to come.

“It’s nice to be solo points leaders,” he said. “The difference between the second pit stall and the first one is a huge advantage strategically, so we always love to have that little edge each weekend.

“Even though we were tied with [another] Acura, we’re still racing each other hard as you could see.

“I think what we did today, racing hard and taking chances, is how we have to race the rest of the championship. 

“The 01 and 31, although they’re further back in the points, we can’t take our eyes off of them. We need to keep this intensity up.”

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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