Jordan Taylor held off Dane Cameron in an exciting sprint to the finish Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, beating his rival to the checkered flag by 0.477 seconds to score the second victory of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season for the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance.
Ricky Taylor claimed the team’s third consecutive TOTAL Pole Award in Saturday’s qualifying session and led the opening 27 laps of Sunday’s race around the 2.459-mile circuit. However, Ricky Taylor lost the lead to Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP while experiencing power steering issues, which eventually went away after he turned the car over to his brother.
A turning point came with 12 minutes remaining when Joao Barbosa pitted with a cut left-rear tire in the No. 5 Corvette DP. Cameron was leading at the time, but made a scheduled pit stop for fuel three minutes later in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP started by Eric Curran. That stop was extended by a few critical seconds when the team changed the left-rear tire as a precautionary measure.
That gave the lead to Jordan Taylor, who had passed Ozz Negri in the No. 60 AERO Ligier JS P2/Honda for third place moments before Barbosa’s pit stop. Cameron exited the pits two seconds behind Taylor, and spent the final eight laps gradually narrowing that gap. Negri and John Pew took third, giving Michael Shank Racing its third podium result in four races. Negri drove the final two hours without power steering.
“I thought it was going to be a long miserable day, but we kept going.” said Jordan. “We got by Negri who was being held up in traffic. It was lap after lap by myself, so it was a bit of a boring race in that respect.
“We were pitting at such weird times and taking two tires instead of four. I didn’t know what was going on, I just kept driving.”
Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante took fourth in the No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP, after Westbrook took the position from Barbosa in the closing laps. Unofficially, that allowed the VisitFlorida.com team to add two points to its advantage. They now lead the No. 5 Action Express team by seven points, 221-214, with Cameron and Curran another four points back.
Bennett, Braun Score First Victory Of Season, Extend PC Points Lead
Watching various problems strike most of their rivals in the Prototype Challenge (PC) class, Jon Bennett and Colin Braun drove a trouble-free race to capture their first victory of the season in the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09. The victory allowed the CORE autosport teammates to extend their lead in the point standings with four races remaining.
Four other teams managed to lead the event, but the No. 54 team ran in the top two throughout the entire race – with the exception of a three-lap stretch following its first pit stop.
John Falb led 12 laps in the No. 16 Edvisors.com/Top 1 Oil ORECA, and joined Sean Rayhall in a second-place finish for BAR1 Motorsports, one lap behind the winners. Taking third were Mikhail Goikhberg – who led 25 laps – and Matt McMurry in the No. 85 UndergroundCellar.com ORECA from JDC/Miller Motorsports.
Renger van der Zande entered the race looking to give Starworks Motorsport and the No. 8 Martini ORECA its third consecutive victory. Ailing co-driver Mirco Schultis drove the opening hour, with van der Zande driving to the lead before dropping out with a mechanical issue.
Also experiencing problems was TOTAL Pole Award winner James French, who led the opening 30 laps in the No. 38 Ric-Man Construction/GO-PUCK/Braille Batteries entry before pulling off course on the back straight to bring out the lone caution of the event. The team managed to repair the car, with Conor Daly finishing the race in seventh.
Mike Guasch and Tom Kimber-Smith entered the event one point behind in the PC standings, but the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Cuttwood entry lost 12 laps with a mechanical problem at the 90-minute mark. The team came back to finish fifth and now trails by 10 points, 193-183.