Ricky Taylor admitted that Acura Team Penske teammates Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya “really earned the win” in Sunday’s Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, in a race that ended in team orders.
Taylor and co-driver Helio Castroneves collected their fourth victory of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season after Cameron pulled aside in Turn 11 coming on to the final lap.
The call made by the team was enough to not only give the No. 7 car the win but also propel them into the DPi points lead, two points ahead of Wayne Taylor Racing’s Renger van der Zande and Ryan Briscoe.
Speaking post-race, the 31-year-old second generation driver expressed his gratitude to Cameron, whom he said was “being nice” as a team player.
Cameron had as much of a 30-second gap over Taylor as the Acura ARX-05 cars ran 1-2 for the majority of the race.
“In the middle of the last stint before the yellow we were making very good time and pushing hard,” said Taylor.
“We wanted to put ourselves into a position where if there wasn’t a restart, we wanted to try and catch them and see what we could do.
“When the restart came, I had a couple of looks in traffic. We were racing.
“Penske isn’t going to take away a win from somebody unless there’s a really big goal. I don’t know how the discussions went.
“I feel bad for Dane and Juan because they did race a perfect race. We ended up leading one lap of the race.”
Taylor said they weren’t “explicitly asking” for the No. 6 car to concede its position while Castroneves said Cameron and Montoya were the “class of the field” on Sunday.
“When you drive for such a strong team like Acura Team Penske, we have the eyes on the big goal which is the championship,” Taylor added.
“Helio said it but I also have to say a huge thanks to Dane and Juan and all of the 6 car guys that were really the class of the field this weekend.
“They really earned a win but thought of us and our championship situation.
“A huge thanks to them and great job. It was Dane being a nice guy, to be honest.”
Castroneves Dodges Question About Saturday’s Clash With Nasr
When asked post-race to state his position on the incident with the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in Practice 2 on Saturday, Castroneves declined to comment.
A replay of the incident showed Castroneves veering into Felipe Nasr’s car on-track, resulting in a stop-and-hold plus 60-second penalty in the session for “unsportsmanlike conduct” for the No. 7 car.
“Yesterday was yesterday today is a different day,” Castroneves said. “We’re focused on the future ahead.”
While also not commenting on Saturday’s incident, Taylor said he’s “over it” between he and Derani, whom had a heated coming together at Motul Petit Le Mans while fighting for the race lead.
It had been one of the hot topics heading into this weekend and was only stirred up more following Saturday’s incident between the two cars.
“I never talked to Pipo,” Taylor said. “He didn’t want to listen to me. I guess he doesn’t how I feel. Honestly nobody wants to see what happened at Petit happen.
“I’m over it. I know what happened and I know how I race. I hope he knows too.
“As far as I’m concerned that was in the past. I’m going to race him how I race everybody.”