Taylor Holds Off Westbrook for Rolex Pole

Photo: Business as usual for Wayne Taylor Racing: winning at Daytona. IMSA image

Ricky Taylor won the qualifying race yesterday and will start the Role 24 Hour race from the pole next Saturday. Taylor’s Wayne Taylor Racing Acura took the lead after pit stops and held off persistent attacks from Richard Westbrook in the JDC -Miller Cadillac over the final 30 minutes of the race. Westbrook’s car started on the pole for the race. Felipe Albuquerque qualified the car second, but the number 10 started last in class because of a technical violation.

Taylor clinched the victory just after the start of the final lap. Westbrook saw an opening going into turn one which Taylor quickly closed. Westbrook bumped Taylor, then spun, giving the number 10 Konica- Minolta car a clear path to the checkered flag.

Traffic helped Taylor stay in front, but once the contenders were clear, Westbrook closed in quickly. It was a great half hour battle.

Ben Keating and Mikkel Jensen won in LMP2. Keating started on the pole, and he will drive the number 52 in this class and the number 5 DPi Cadillac in the race. Keating has a good shot at a double win.

Jarrett Andretti Wins LMP3 Pole

Jarrett Andretti, son of the late John Andretti, teamed with Josh Burdon to win the LMP3 class in the Andretti Autosport entry. Attrition was high in this group, and is likely to be a factor next weekend as well. The number 36 Ligier started third Sunday.

Close Finishes in GTD Classes

Both GTD Pro and GTD saw close finishes. While the DPi cars battled, the GTD classes each had duels for the lead for the final 30 minutes also. Peacock gave some coverage of the fights, but I wish they had shown more.

In GTD Pro, the Lamborghini driven by Andrea Caldarelli and Mirko Bortolotti took first place. Bortolotti passed the Porsche driven by Alessio Piccarielli with 14 minutes to go and won by 0.475 seconds.

While the GTD finish was close- Lucas Auer and Russell Ward’ Mercedes won by just 0.509 seconds over the McLaren- the team led all but three laps from their outside front row starting spot.