SportsCar Glory Belongs To Taylor Brothers
DETROIT – Ricky and Jordan Taylor sprinted to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Prototype (P) class and overall victory Saturday, in the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers, a result that wasn’t the least bit surprising.
After all, the Taylor Brothers were in a hurry.
After winning the fifth race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, the Taylor Brothers took off for the airport and a flight to Paris, to be followed by a train ride to Le Mans, France. They were expecting to arrive around noon on Sunday, to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans mandatory test session.
Ricky Taylor brought the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP home, only 0.207 seconds ahead of Richard Westbrook, who was in the pole-sitting No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP. Westbrook co-drove with Michael Valiante. Olivier Pla finished third in the No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan/Nissan, after taking over from co-driver Gustavo Yacaman. It was a third-consecutive Detroit victory for Jordan Taylor, following victories in 2012 and ’13 in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series
What was shaping up to be a routine run to the checkered flag for Ricky Taylor changed quickly in the closing minutes of the one-hour, 40-minute race on the tight 2.36-mile, Detroit Belle Isle street circuit. Following a 23-minute caution period necessitated by a repair of the tire wall in turn 12, 27 minutes remained; at that point the Taylors had led for 48 minutes.
Ricky Taylor was out front but soon, Barbosa was lurking, ever closer with each lap. Taylor took the white flag but suddenly, Barbosa took the lead with a daring inside move into the turn three right-hander, nudging Taylor into the wall. Moments later, though, the left-rear tire on Barbosa’s car was shredding and then, he was spinning. Taylor sped by.
Onto the checkered and onto Le Mans.
“When he put us in the wall the only thing I was thinking was either he is going to have a tire go down or I was definitely going to break because it was a hard hit,” Ricky Taylor said. “For those last couple laps it was really tooth and nail.”
Ricky Taylor is slated to co-drive a LM P2 car at Le Mans, while Jordan Taylor and Westbrook will join the heralded Corvette Racing operation for a LM GTE Pro effort.
“Richard and I have done this [Detroit-to-Le Mans trip] before together and it was a disaster,” Jordan said. “Hopefully this one, with a lot more planning will be a little less stress. I think we knocked off about five years of Richard’s life [last time]. It’s a rough travel night. We hope to get in the car [at Le Mans] for a few hours. It’s a long weekend, but we’re race car drivers and we love driving, so it’s definitely worth it.”