RICKY TAYLOR & JORDAN TAYLOR
For the Second Year in a Row, Konica Minolta Corvette DP Heads to Laguna Seca With Momentum from its First Win of the Year on the Streets of Long Beach
MONTEREY, California (April 26, 2016) – Fresh off their victory at their most successful racetrack in recent years to the circuit where they’ve enjoyed almost similar success, brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) are loaded with momentum heading into Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, California.
Two weekends ago, the Taylors thoroughly dominated the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix on the seaside streets of Long Beach, California for the second year in a row, leading a race-high 72 of 75 race laps in bringing home their second consecutive victory there and third consecutive top-two finish.
This weekend, they’ll head four hours up the California coast to the iconic 2.238-mile, 11-turn Laguna Seca hillside layout where the team was victorious in a pivotal race that led to its 2013 GRAND-Am Rolex Sports Car Series championship and followed up with runner-up finishes with the WeatherTech Championship in 2014 and 2015.
Much like their near-perfect runs in their back-to-back wins at Long Beach, during which they led 145 of the 153 race laps the last two seasons, the No. 10 Corvette DP has led a series-high 168 of the 204 laps run at Laguna Seca the past three seasons.
Buoyed by their solid runner-up finish at the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, where they also led all competitors with 152 laps led, and the dominating run at Long Beach that bounced the team back from its disappointing DNF (did not finish) at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sunday’s two-hour sprint race, which will feature only the all-professional Prototype- and GTLM-class competitors, will be a welcome opportunity for the Taylors and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP team to take another giant step toward its ultimate goal of the 2016 championship.
Practice for Sunday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix begins Friday morning with Prototype-class qualifying set for 8:45 p.m. EDT Saturday. The green flag flies at 2:15 p.m. Sunday for the two-hour race with live television on FS1 and the FOX Sports GO app beginning at 2 p.m. Live timing and scoring during all on-track sessions is available at IMSA.com and the IMSA smartphone app.
RICKY TAYLOR, driver, No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing:
You’re coming off a big win for the second year in a row at Long Beach and racing this weekend at Laguna Seca, where you’ve had great runs each of the last three years. What are your thoughts about this weekend’s race?
“They are two very different tracks but, for some reason, we’ve been very good at these two races, as well. The whole year, we’ve had good momentum after a great start at Daytona and the win at Long Beach. Sebring was just a bit of a speed bump in the middle of all that. Daytona was great, and the only thing at Sebring that kept us from competing for the win was electrical issues. Long Beach became just an extension of our strong and clean run at Daytona. It was a great result and a great boost for the team. It’s great to have a solid weekend, but winning makes everything so much better than second. It’s nice to go to Laguna with a win under our belt, already. It’s always nice to get that first one. Every year, you feel like it’s so competitive that you might not get one, and when you do have one within reach, it’s so easy to let them slip through your fingers. So, it was nice actually hold onto one so early in the season.”
Do you expect the team’s near-perfect weekend at Long Beach to translate into success at Laguna Seca?
“When we go to each track, it’s a totally different approach. Long Beach is super bumpy and you can’t really run the car very low. The P2 cars don’t really manage to make downforce very efficiently because they have to run a little bit softer and a little bit higher so they can get over the bumps, and they can’t use the floor of the car. When we go to Laguna, it’s so smooth that you just try to keep the car out of the packers and off the ground and you use the downforce much more efficiently. As far as the balance between the cars, it’s going to be a totally different story. The DPs favored Long Beach and the P2s are going to definitely favor Laguna. It’ll be interesting going back, for sure. It’s a good track for us last year, but I think with Mazda and its new engine this year, they’re going to be pretty fast.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, driver, No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing:
Your overall thoughts about heading back to Long Beach as defending race winners?
“Obviously, it was a really good to win at Long Beach. We had a tough one at Sebring, so it was good to bounce back like that and get our first win of the year. Long Beach and Laguna have always been good races for us. When we have a good racetrack for us, it’s always good to take full advantage and get the maximum result there. So, we’re heading there with good expectations. I definitely feel we will battle for the win. The new wrinkle this year is that it looks like the Mazdas will be the ones to beat there. It is ‘Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca,’ so I’m sure they’ve been saving a little something for this race, every weekend, to make sure they have their best chance to win on that track. Otherwise, every year we’ve been the fastest Corvette DP, and with the Ganassi team gone, we’ll see the P2 cars to be the main competition for the Corvettes.”
This year’s race for you will feature only the DPs and the GTLM cars. How will that affect your strategy?
“Having just the Prototype class and GTLM, it’ll be a much cleaner race, for sure. There will be all professionals on the track. Everyone gives good racing room and is aware of everything around them the entire race. So, again, it’ll be a much cleaner race at Laguna Seca than in the recent past. But, I kind of enjoy having GTDs and PCs because there are definitely times when we can use them to our advantage out there. Now, with just the GTLMs, we’ll be able to catch them quickly enough, but it will be tougher get around them. But, it is what it is and it’s the same for everybody.”
WAYNE TAYLOR, owner, No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing:
Your overall thoughts as we head to Laguna Seca this weekend?
“The neat thing about this weekend is the guys are very motivated to take the momentum we gained from Long Beach and carry it through to the next race. It was a near-perfect weekend for us. We were disappointed to not get the pole, but Ricky did a great job to put us on the front row after he hit the wall in qualifying, and then it became a moot point when he took the lead on the first corner of the first lap. We led from start to finish, had a perfect pit stop, and Jordan brought it home. The point standings got tighter and now we can go racing. We have every reason to believe Laguna will be another good race for us. We’ve had a great car there the last three years and it would sure be good to go out and do this weekend like we did at Long Beach. Although I think the Mazdas are going to be the cars to beat there this year. They were strong at Long Beach and they seem to be more suited to Laguna than we are. They have more power than anybody really knows and they are really nice cars, basically high-downforce P2s. But we’ll see how it all plays out. If we get the most out of our car and our drivers, and the team executes at the high level that it does at every race weekend, we’ll have a chance.”
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