Wayne Taylor has lashed out at Juan Pablo Montoya for his “disgraceful” behavior entering pit lane, alleging the Colombian brake-checked Ryan Briscoe, which led to contact and a penalty for the No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R.
The two cars collided entering the pits for their final round of stops with 35 minutes to go, resulting in left-rear damage to the No. 6 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 and a battered nose for the championship-leading Cadillac DPi.
Briscoe was handed a drive-through penalty for incident responsibility, which dropped the car out of podium contention.
“I got a notification from a journalist in Europe, ‘Why the hell did JPM brake check him?’” Taylor told NBC Sports’ Dillon Welch shortly after the incident.
“He knows he brake checked him. But no, the starter said it’s before the line.
“It’s disgraceful for a professional to do it. It would have put us in the lead of the championship. It has screwed our race. But it’s pathetic.”
Taylor reached out to Sportscar365 on Sunday stating he was caught in the “heat of the moment” and believes that Montoya did not intentionally brake-check Briscoe but instead has questioned IMSA’s decision to penalize Briscoe.
While Briscoe and co-driver Renger van der Zande salvaged a fifth place finish, courtesy of Montoya crashing out in the final 15 minutes after getting hit by Toni Vilander’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, the team was still left questioning the call by race control.
Taylor said they would have “clearly” finished second had the run-in not occurred, with Briscoe admitting it was a “big discussion” post-race.
“[Montoya] said he had a problem in his car, and he hit the brakes inside pit lane. We got a penalty for it. It’s a real shame because it ruined our chances for a podium or the win.”
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The No. 10 Cadillac had rebounded from an off-sequence pit stop in the second hour due to a puncture, which changed the team’s strategy after initially going a lap down.
A long green flag run helped put Briscoe and van der Zande back in contention until the incident while battling for third.
Briscoe and van der Zande have seen their championship lead reduced to four points after the eventful day.
“It’s a shame because we could have scored more points, a win, or even a podium,” van der Zande said.
“This is endurance racing though so there’s always something happening. It’s a bit of a casino. Today wasn’t our day, but the team was performing on a very high level and I’m very proud of that.”