A qualifying crash and last-place starting spot couldn’t prevent Wayne Taylor Racing from claiming its fifth straight win to open the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season at the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic in Detroit.
Ricky Taylor charged up to fifth in his stint, then handed over the No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R to his brother Jordan who drove the car to the lead and to victory lane.
Action Express Racing looked to be the biggest threat to WTR’s bid to win the race, locking out the front row after the grid was set by points following Ricky Taylor’s qualifying mishap.
The No. 31 Cadillac of Dane Cameron and Eric Curran appeared to be the team’s best bet, leading until fuel strategy went awry in the waning minutes.
While the rest of the field pitted for the final time with around 40 minutes to go, AXR elected to keep the No. 31 out to try and build a gap and then short fill for their final stop.
Ultimately the pace of the WTR Cadillac was too strong in the final stint, as Jordan Taylor chopped into Cameron’s advantage and took a lead of over five seconds when the AXR car emerged from the pits and its final stop with just over 20 minutes remaining.
Taylor held on to win by 4:948 seconds over Cameron, and 34.502 seconds back to the No. 70 Mazda RT24-P of Tom Long and Joel Miller which scored a breakthrough podium in third.
Joao Barbosa held off a hard-charging Stephen Simpson with just under 11 minutes left to secure fourth in the pole-sitting No. 5 Cadillac.
Simpson spun in the attempt to make the pass, allowing Tristan Nunez in the No. 55 Mazda through into fifth while Simpson and JDC-Miller Motorsports had to settle for sixth.
The Prototype Challenge class went to the Performance Tech Motorsports duo of Pato O’Ward and James French, who remain perfect on the season as well.
The No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports entry of Tomy Drissi and Bruno Junqueira took second, while the sister BAR1 entry of Ryan Lewis and Don Yount finished third.
There was one yellow flag in the race just over 25 minutes into the 100-minute race, which came when the No. 75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Kenny Habul suffered a brake problem and collided with Renger Van Der Zande in the No. 90 VisitFlorida Riley Mk. 30 Gibson. Both cars were eliminated from the race with damage.
Up next for the WeatherTech Championship is a trip to Watkins Glen for the third leg of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup June 29th – July 2nd.
RESULTS: Chevrolet Sports Car Classic