AUSTIN, TX – Ricky and Jordan Taylor secured victory at the 2016 Lone Star Le Mans surviving the scorching Texas heat, and late race drama at the Circuit of the Americas, to get the top spot on the podium and their 3rd overall victory of their 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign.
Action Express claimed the 2nd and 3rd spots on the podium, with the #31 Action Express Racing Whelen Engineering Corvette DP of Eric Curran and Dane Cameron finishing just behind the #10 car. The #5 Action Express Mustang Sampling Corvette DP of Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa was able to secure a 3rd place finish, even after suffering some damage from contact with the #007 Aston Martin.
Wayne Taylor Racing’s successful weekend started with Ricky Taylor placing the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP on the pole by 0.003 seconds over the Mazdas Prototype, which locked up the 2nd and 3rd spots ahead of the Action Express machines. Ricky Taylor got a fantastic jump on the race start to hold off the attacking Mazdas and Action Express Corvette DPs. The Taylor brothers were able to avoid a number of early race incidents and continue to build upon the pace that Ricky set in Qualifying over the course of the next 3 hours.
After building up nearly a 10 second lead, Jordan Taylor had an issue with the traction control interfering with engine power following a spin in the final turn before the famous front straight. This happened with 36 minutes remaining in the race. The spin and resulting issues cut the margin down to 2.7 seconds over the #31 Action Express Corvette DP then driven by Dane Cameron. GTLM traffic also tried to stop Jordan Taylor as the race was winding down to it’s final minutes, a BMW M6 GTLM car momentarily held up the leader allowing the #31 car to close the remaining gap. Still running hard after an extended stint in the sweltering cabin, Jordan held on to first place, and the win, by a 1.4 second margin over Cameron in the #31 Corvette Daytona Prototype.
One of the more comical incidents of the race took place when the #60 Honda Ligier JS P2 of Michael Shank Racing, being driven by John Pew, was spun by Katherine Legge in the #0 Panoz DeltaWing. The #60 collected some extra baggage during its off track excursion when one of the WeatherTech signs attached itself to the front of the #60 car. Despite a number of valiant efforts by Pew, he was unable to detach the board from the car and had to wait for track marshals to come to his aid, causing a full course yellow.
The GTLM class featured an impressive battle that lead to lots of class contact between cars. A drama-filled race for this class would see both Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSRs secure podium domination, with the #912 of Earl Bamber and Frederic Makowiecki claiming the class victory, after passing the #911 sister car of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet in the late stages of the race. The #3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen claim the 3rd spot on the podium.
While the #67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT qualified over half a second ahead of the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488, the Ferrari would get the jump on the Ford at the race start. The move would also set the stage for a heated Ferrari-Porsche battle that would last until the #62 car experienced electrical connection issues towards the end of the race, falling from first to 8th in the final 20 minutes of the race. The pole-sitting #67 car experienced it’s own heartbreak fortune after making contact with the #4 Corvette driven by Tommy Milner and breaking a steering rack, leading to a disappointing 9th place finish in class.
GTD racing saw the #96 Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 of Bret Curtis and Jens Klingmann take the top spot on the podium after starting the race way back in 8th place and working their way up to 1st from as far back as 10th place during the race. The #48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow finished in second and the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Christina Nielson and Alessandro Balzan claimed 3rd. The pole-sitting #23 Team Seattle Porsche 911 GT3 R of Mario Farnbacher and Alex Riberas had been running strong until they ran out of the fuel on the last lap, resulting in a 7th place finish in class.
With the WeatherTech Championship team, driver, and manufacturer championships and Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup on the line, all classes will return to action on Sep. 28 – Oct. 1 to close out the 2016 season at Road Atlanta for Petit Le Mans. Stay tuned to Lowered Lifestyle for coverage of that event and continuing coverage of all IMSA racing.