Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R: Advance Auto Parts Sports Car Showcase at Austin Preview

May 03, 2017

RICKY TAYLOR, JORDAN TAYLOR

Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Duo Looks To Stay Unbeaten

In First True Road-Course Test at Circuit of the Americas

AUSTIN, Texas (May 2, 2017) – There’s a first time for everything, even the first time when brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor and their No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R will take the green flag to start a race and not finish with a victory.

But the winners of this season’s opening three events – the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, and the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix on the streets of Long Beach, California – hope to delay that inevitable first non-win as long as possible. They’ll look instead to add to their three-race winning streak in Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Advance Auto Parts Sports Car Showcase at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

For the second of three races in a row, the Taylors arrive in town as the defending event winners. When the series last visited Austin in October, Ricky Taylor earned the pole position, his brother was unfazed by a midrace spin while leading, and together they led 70 of 75 race laps en route to their series-high third win of the season.

Last month, they arrived at Long Beach as two-time-defending event winners and completed the trifecta with a thrilling victory from the pole position with a late-race pass for the lead. They’re also defending event winners on the Streets of Belle Isle circuit they’ll visit the first weekend of June in downtown Detroit, where the team has won three of the last four races overall.

The victories that started the season at the iconic Daytona and Sebring endurance events were both career firsts for both Taylor brothers. And with their most recent Long Beach victory, they became major North American sportscar racing’s first duo to go unbeaten through three season-opening events since Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas won Daytona, Sebring and at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama to start their 2011 championship campaign.

Saturday’s two-hour, 40-minute race on the beautiful 3.4-mile, 20-turn home of the Formula One United States Grand Prix will be the first for the Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R on a true road course. Despite the performance unknowns that situation presents, the Taylor brothers and the rest of the team remain confident after their sleek, new racecar enjoyed trouble-free runs in its maiden voyages on Daytona’s hybrid superspeedway road circuit, Sebring’s World War II-era airport runway circuit, and the Long Beach street course.

If the team’s history is any indication, the Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R should be one of the cars to beat once again this weekend, as its previous racecar was during the first four visits to Austin. A late-race penalty while fighting for the lead and an opening-lap bump from behind while leading that resulted in a spin both ruined potential race-winning efforts in 2013 and 2014. Misfortune was finally averted in 2015 when the Taylor brothers brought home a solid runner-up finish at Austin before their breakthrough win there last year.

Practice for Saturday’s Advance Auto Parts Sports Car Showcase begins Thursday morning with Prototype-class qualifying set for 2:20 p.m. EDT Friday with live video provided by IMSA.tv beginning at 1:05 p.m. The green flag flies at 2:35 p.m. Saturday with same-day-delayed TV coverage set for FS1 at 7 p.m. Select in-car camera video and live audio from IMSA Radio will be available beginning at 2:25 p.m. at IMSA.com and the IMSA smartphone app. 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 Cadillac DPi-V.R:

After winning three races in a row to start the season, you’re headed to another track where you won last year. Does it feel somewhat surreal, yet? How do you stay hungry after all the success you’ve had, and the fact you’re going back to two more tracks in a row where you won last year?

“It has been an amazing start to the year and we are so lucky to be surrounded by such good people and equipment to make these results possible. It has been even more motivating and, interestingly, with each win we seem to feel more motivated to get another one. The team has not taken the pressure off since last October when all of this started, and I feel like the intensity has even gone up since Daytona. Everybody just seems to be very highly motivated to put it together again.”

Talk about your experience switching gears and running the SprintX races at VIR this past weekend, and how you fit that in with your pursuit of a higher goal, which is to win the IMSA WeatherTech Championship.

“Racing in the Cadillac ATS-V.R was definitely a change of pace and scenery, but I thoroughly enjoyed racing there with a different team and a different group of competitors. It was a lot of pressure going and being a part of that Cadillac Racing effort because we were just there to support their season’s goal, which is winning their championship. So I was just doing my best to support their team and gave them my full effort at VIR. But, coming back after that, we have to reset and focus back on our championship.”  

Another new track for the new Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R this weekend. What are your thought about how COTA will suit this new racecar?

“We have a very good history at COTA and the team has done a lot of work to prepare for us going there for the first time with the Cadillac DPi-V.R to ensure we can translate what worked in past years and apply it to the new car. I think the fast-flowing corners at COTA will be fitting for our car. We may not have the top speed, anymore, with the current BoP (Balance of Performance), but our car is very strong when it comes to fast-flowing corners, which COTA has plenty of.”

JORDAN TAYLOR, driver, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R:

After winning three races in a row to start the season, you’re headed to a track where you won last year. Does it feel somewhat surreal, yet? How do you stay hungry after all the success you’ve had, and the fact you’re going back to two more tracks in a row where you won last year?

“Yeah it’s been an incredible start to the year. I don’t think we’ll realize how incredible it is until sometime down the road. Right now, we just feel like we’re doing our jobs. As drivers, mechanics, engineers – the whole team – everyone is doing what they’re supposed to and it’s just clicking for us. It’s easy to stay hungry for race wins when you go race by race. Each weekend is its own event, so you don’t think too much about what we’ve already done this year. We approach it the same every time. COTA had been good to us, historically, so hopefully we can keep that trend going.” 

Talk about your experience switching gears and running the SprintX races at VIR this past weekend, and how you fit that in with your pursuit of a higher goal, which is to win the IMSA WeatherTech Championship.

“The SprintX event was a whole different animal. It was our first time racing a GT3 car and probably our first sprint race in about four or five years. It was a good experience, though. Michael (Cooper) and I finished the weekend with two podiums, so we were happy with that, considering how our weekend started. Anytime you can get some more racing under your belt, and more experience, it’s a good thing. You can always learn something new, so we can take some of those lessons into the rest of our IMSA season, as well.” 

Another new track for the new Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R this weekend. What are your thought about how COTA will suit this new racecar?

“When we changed cars to our new Cadillac DPi-V.R, I think COTA was one of the tracks on the calendar that I was most excited about. With the added downforce and athleticism of the car, I think it’s going to be an awesome track for it, especially the high-speed esses at the beginning of the lap. It’s always a great track for racing, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the weekend shakes out.”

WAYNE TAYLOR, owner, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R:

Your overall thoughts as the series heads to Austin this weekend?

“Winning three in a row has been absolutely great, so now we want to make it four in a row. We did win there last year, and we’ve had very good racecars each time we’ve been there the last four years even though we did start off with some bad luck the first two times. But with our new car and the current situation, we’re not going to know how fast we are there until we get there and hit the track. The power disadvantage certainly didn’t show much at Long Beach, but now we’re going to a circuit with long, long straights. It just depends on what happens when we get there. In the meantime, we’ll just keep doing what we normally do, which is focusing on strategy, focusing on the drivers, focusing on the setup for the race, and hopefully it will all add up to another win. It’s definitely one of our best tracks, historically. We really like it. And, like I keep saying, we’re going there with the best car, the best drivers and the best team, so hopefully that will bring success one more time this weekend.”

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