Another GT Le Mans pole for Jordan Taylor
Jordan Taylor won his fourth consecutive pole position in GT Le Mans on Saturday.
MONTEREY, Calif .– Jordan Taylor has turned into a qualifying machine.
For the fourth consecutive race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Taylor placed Corvette Racing’s No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R in pole position at the GT Le Mans.
Taylor extended his winning streak to four on Saturday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, breaking the GTLM track record he set last year with a 1 minute, 21.151 second (99.281 mph) lap. He will start his class on Sunday in the Hyundai Monterey sports car championship and he and his co-driver Antonio Garcia have now won GTLM pole in all paid races this season except the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
It was far from a simple effort for Taylor on Saturday, however. He traded first with teammate Tommy Milner in the No.4 Corvette more than once during the 15-minute qualifying session. Milner finished just 0.116 seconds off Taylor’s pace and will start second. Cooper MacNeil qualified WeatherTech Racing’s # 79 Porsche 911 RSR-19 in third, 0.780 seconds off pole.
“We were a bit behind (#) car 4 all weekend,” Taylor said. “They seemed to be a bit stronger throughout practice so we made some big changes in practice 2 and qualifying just to kind of make a qualifying car. We found some things for pure lap time. , but I don’t think they’re going to work for the race settings. Obviously it’s nice to land the pole to get those points, and we also have a sense of what we can do for the race from there. an adjustment point.
The pole is the 20th in Taylor’s IMSA career and the fourth at WeatherTech Raceway. However, Corvette hasn’t won the 11-turn, 2,238-mile road course since 2014, so Taylor said he and Garcia were building on their experience here last year in the Corvette C8’s first race. on the track.
“Having that under our belt and understanding better tire degradation, what tire compound to use and the strategy with which to get to the pit when we catch GTD cars, things like that, we learned a lot here last year. “Taylor said. “So I think we’re in good shape. But at the same time, you never know in these races with the yellows and the different strategies.
Trent Hindman won his first Motul Pole Award in two years on Saturday, clocking the fastest GT Daytona (GTD) lap in Wright Motorsports’ No.16 Porsche 911 GT3 R in the grid qualifying session to lead the platoon of 13 cars in the class. It was a welcome relief for Hindman and his co-driver Patrick Long, as the No. 16 team have already started second three times this year.
“I told the guys before we qualified that if we’re second for the fourth time this year I think heads are going to fall,” said Hindman after completing a lap of 1: 24.505 (95.340 mph). “There was a lot of motivation to make sure this didn’t happen again. Tons of hard work from the guys at Wright Motorsports from test 1 to test 2 and before qualifying, so the least we can do is reward them for all their time and effort.
Starting at the top of the class, added Hindman, is the best remedy on the tight, low-grip WeatherTech Raceway circuit.
“You come to a relatively tight race track like this – poor grip, a lot of slow to medium speed corners – it’s very difficult to get close enough to execute a pass,” he explained. “Sometimes that happens, but more often the position on the track is made up in qualifying or through strategy. This is why there is so much attention throughout workout 1, workout 2 to find the right balance and get what we need to do that great trick.
In the ensuing GTD session for championship points, Ross Gunn led the way with a lap of 1: 23.805 (96.137 mph) in the # 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3. However, Gunn was later penalized for getting out of his car before the checkered flag was displayed during the session, moving it from first to last.
As a result of the penalty, Gunn and co-driver Roman De Angelis are now behind GTD leaders Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley by 32 points, 1,962 to 1,930. Foley qualified the # 96 BMW M6 GT3 Turner Motorsport in second place from the starting grid, Auberlen also taking second place in the paid segment.