Jordan Taylor and co-driver Max Angelelli held off Scott Pruett and IndyCar driver Scott Dixon on Sunday to win the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. As a result of their first place the duo were able to extend their championship lead in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series’ Daytona Prototype class after Taylor once again held on in the closing laps to win a close race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
In the last event at Kansas Speedway, Taylor fended off an attack from Scott Pruett to win, this time, he was able to keep both Pruett and IndyCar champion Scott Dixon in his rear view mirror after a restart with four minutes left on the clock. Dixon and fellow IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti finish third in Ganassi’s No. 02 BMW Riley behind the duo of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas.
“It definitely fazed me,” Taylor said after his duel with Dixon. “Dixon, Franchitti, Pruett – all of these guys are legends in my mind. I’ve grown up looking up to them, and they’re still my heroes, so I was definitely under the pressure. But I knew that if I could hold them off, I could be in a good position for the points. And it couldn’t have been a better points day.” He added “I definitely was under a lot more pressure at Kansas,” said Taylor, who teamed with Angelelli to lead a race-high 72 laps. “Today we had a better car and we could control it from the front. It was a lot more comfortable this weekend.”
Indeed, Taylor and Angelelli have put their No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette ahead by eight points over Pruett and Memo Rojas (No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing BMW/Riley) in the Daytona Prototype category going into the final race of the season September 28th at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. Two of the teams involved in the Daytona Prototype ran into issues today on the Monterey Peninsula.
With 90 minutes to go, the Starworks No. 2 BMW/Riley of Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow was hit with a stop-and-hold plus 60-second penalty for avoidable contact. Dalziel was then penalized a second time for speeding on pit road. The result of these penalties pushed back Dalziel and Popow to a 13th place finish. Joao Barbosa did also not have the best of luck when he locked up the tires while heading to his pit and brushed against the pit wall, which led to a lengthy stop for the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette team.
In the GT class, Magnus Racing’s Andy Lally and John Potter finally claimed their first victory of 2013 at a most opportune time and jumped back into the class points lead they lost in Kansas. Down one point to Alessandro Balzan going into today, the Lally/Potter combo now has an eight-point edge over the Ferrari driver heading to Lime Rock Park.
“That last full course yellow was horrible,” said Lally, who closed in the No. 44 Magnus Porsche. “My heart went up in my throat, and I knew it was going to happen.” “I tell you, though, this Porsche-engineered car did a great job – We knew we were going to burn the tires off, so we couldn’t go at them on pace. We just conserved and we did it on fuel. That got us the position.” “This was my longest slump without a victory that I’ve had as a Rolex Series driver,” Lally said. “To win in a clutch moment in the penultimate round of the season was massive.”
In GX, Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long race to their third victory of the season in the No. 70 MazdaSpeed/Speedsource Mazda 6.
1. (2) Max Angelelli/Jordan Taylor, Corvette DP, 105 laps
2. (6) Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas, BMW Riley, 105
3. (4) Scott Dixon/Dario Franchitti, BMW Riley, 105
4. (7) Jon Fogarty/Alex Gurney, Corvette DP, 105
5. (16) Sebastien Bourdais/Emilio DiGuida, Corvette DP, 105
6. (11) Gustavo Yacaman/Justin Wilson, Ford Riley, 105
7. (5) Christian Fittipaldi/Joao Barbosa, Corvette DP, 105
8. (1) Richard Westbrook/Ricky Taylor, Corvette DP, 105
9. (3) Dane Cameron/Wayne Nonnamaker, BMW Riley, 105
10. (10) John Pew/Oswaldo Negri Jr., Ford Riley, 105
11. (9) Brian Frisselle/Burt Frisselle, Corvette DP, 105
12. (12) Enzo Potolicchio/Stephane Sarrazin, Corvette DP, 104
13. (8) Ryan Dalziel/Alex Popow, BMW Riley, 103
14. (14) Joe Nonnamaker/Will Nonnamaker, BMW Riley, 103
15. (15) Jim Pace/Byron Defoor, BMW Riley, 101
16. (8) John Potter/Andy Lally, Porsche GT3 Cup, 100
17. (11) Michael Marsal/Billy Johnson, BMW M3, 100
18. (2) Boris Said/Eric Curran, Corvette, 100
19. (5) Patrick Lindsey/Patrick Long, Porsche GT3 Cup, 100
20. (3) Leh Keen/Alessandro Balzan, Ferrari 458, 100
21. (13) Emil Assentato/Anthony Lazzaro, Ferrari 458, 100
22. (1) Robin Liddell/John Edwards, Camaro GT.R, 100
23. (12) Brian Wong/Kyle Marcelli, Porsche GT3 Cup, 100
24. (6) Al Carter/Bryan Sellers, Audi R8 GRAND-AM, 100
25. (10) Brandon Davis/Darren Turner, Aston Martin Vantage, 99
26. (13) Brendon Hartley/Scott Mayer, BMW Riley, 98
27. (14) Charles Putman/Charles Espenlaub, Porsche GT3 Cup, 97
28. (2) Sylvain Tremblay/Tom Long, Mazda 6 GX, 96
29. (3) Jim Norman/Spencer Pumpelly, Porsche Cayman GX.R, 96
30. (9) Bill Auberlen/Paul Dalla Lana, BMW M3, 94
31. (4) Jeff Segal/Alex Tagliani, Ferrari 458, 81
32. (4) Scott Dollahite/Jeff Mosing, Lotus Evora, 78
33. (1) Joel Miller/Tristan Nunez, Mazda 6 GX, 76
34. (7) Mike Hedlund/Johannes van Overbeek, Ferrari 458, 14
Winners’ average speed: 85.424 mph
Time of Race: 2 hours, 45 minutes, 13.125
Margin of Victory: 2.692 seconds