Following their win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Cadillac Racing’s Michael Cooper and Jordan Taylor head into the second leg of back-to-back Pirelli World Challenge weekends as the new SprintX championship leaders, and look to extend their lead as the season reaches the halfway mark.
While three SprintX weekends still remain, PWC teams are beginning to put the championship into focus, with the tight 1.5-mile, 7-turn Connecticut bullring set to play host to the fourth and fifth rounds of the season.
Cooper and Taylor’s victory in Race 1 at CTMP, aided by a well-timed full-course caution which allowed the No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R to pit and rejoin with nearly a one-lap lead, ended up being the only SprintX race of the weekend in Canada, with heavy rain washing out Race 2, which has yet to be rescheduled.
“Coming off a strong run and a win at CTMP our momentum is high, so we’ll carry that into this weekend,” Cooper said.
“Setup at Lime Rock is always pretty unique because of all the right hand corners, so we bias the car to turn better in that direction. As we saw at CTMP the strategy is a huge part of the race.
“This is even more the case with a lap that’s under 60 seconds long. You can lose a lap if you get unlucky. With over 30 cars, I hope we have a yellow free race, but I don’t see that being the case with the track being so short and having a big field of cars that are really close.”
Jordan Taylor added: “I think with all the SprintX events that there is no room for error.
“At CTMP you could go down a lap if you pitted at the wrong time, and the same can happen at Lime Rock. It’s a tough track to pass on, so limiting mistakes and having a good starting position will be key.”
A total of 33 cars are entered for Lime Rock, following the withdrawal of the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 of Alex Riberas and Kyle Marcelli, which was not able to be repaired in time following the Spaniard’s accident in qualifying at CTMP last weekend.
There are also a number of driver lineup changes, due to a clash with the Nürburgring 24, which also runs this weekend.
Dane Cameron is in for Pierre Kaffer in the No. 4 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS, with Andrew Davis subbing for Marco Seefried in the team’s GT Pro-Am class entry alongside John Potter, while reigning FIA World Endurance Champion Marc Lieb will make his PWC debut in the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, in lieu of Joerg Bergmeister.
Other drivers missing Lime Rock include Alexandre Imperatori, who has been replaced by Super GT star Andre Couto in the No. 78 Bentley Team Absolute Bentley Continental GT3, and Laurens Vanthoor, whose seat in the No. 14 GMG Racing Porsche has been taken over by Matt Hallyday for the remainder of the SprintX season.
A number of PWC teams took advantage of Lime Rock’s traditional open test day to turn laps on Tuesday, with official track activity kicking off on Friday, in a condensed two-day format that sees qualifying and Race 1 all in the opening day. Race 2 is set for Saturday afternoon.
The GTS division will also again be in action at Lime Rock this weekend with a pair of 50-minute single-driver races, set for Friday and Saturday.