A yellow flag late in the driver change window provided the opportunity the No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R of Michael Cooper and Jordan Taylor needed to leapfrog the field and win their first race of the season.
After starting at the back of the GT grid for the third SprintX round of the Pirelli World Challenge Season, the Cadillac Racing crew decided to roll the dice and extend the first stint of the race as long as possible in the hopes of catching a yellow flag.
When the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 of Ben Barnicoat was spun into the tire barriers in Turn 10 by Niccolo Shciro in the No. 31 TR3 Racing Ferrari 488 GT3, they were ready to pounce on the chance.
Due to making their driver change under the yellow flag, Taylor hopped into the No. 8 Cadillac with nearly one lap in hand over his competitors.
Taylor took no chances in the waning laps, nursing his advantage and holding on for a 46.659 second win over Joerg Bergmeister in the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The sister Cadillac of Johnny O’Connell and Ricky Taylor completed the podium, followed the No. 88 Bentley Continental GT3 of Vince Abril and Adderly Fong and the Magnus Racing Audi RS 8 LMS of Pierre Kaffer and Spencer Pumpelly rounding out the top-five overall and in GT Pro-Pro.
The No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, which ran second early in the hands of Daniel Morad, came home sixth after mis-timing its pit stop and losing more than 10 seconds during the driver change to Ryan Dalziel.
Both the No. 54 Black Swan Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 and No. 75 Always Evolving Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, meanwhile, were handed drive-through penalties for not meeting the minimum pit lane delta of 90 seconds for Pro-Am class entries.
Laurens Vanthoor and James Sofronas claimed victory in the GT Pro-Am ranks for GMG Racing, with Vanthoor edging out the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche of Jan Helyen at the line, while GT Am-Am honors went to Henrique Cisneros and Tyler McQuarrie in the NGT Motorsports Ferrari 458 GT3.
The other class winners were Alessandro Bressan and Yuki Harata for Dream Racing Motorsport in GT Cup Pro-Am, Joe Toussaint and Cory Friedman of Autometrics Motorsports in GT Cup Am-Am, Ernie Francis Jr. and James Pesek Miami in the PF Racing entry in GTS Pro-Am, and Greg Liefooghe and Aristotle Balogh for Stephen Cameron Racing in GTS Am-Am.
Race 2 of the weekend is scheduled for 3:40 p.m. ET Sunday with streaming coverage on Motor Trend on Demand and World-Challenge.com.
RESULTS: Race 1