Become First Americans To Win Overall In 17th Petit Le Mans In Their Father's Corvette DP
Taylor Brothers Team Up With Angelelli With Season Finale Victory
Fittipaldi, Barbosa Take TUDOR Championship, Patrón Endurance Cup Titles
Starworks Wins In PC, CORE Autosport Sweeps Championships
Sixteen years after winning the inaugural Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda, Wayne Taylor brought his boys and a long-time friend to victory lane in the 10-hour TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season finale at Road Atlanta.
Ricky and Jordan Taylor co-drove the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta Corvette DP with Max Angelelli to victory, holding off the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP by 11.062 seconds. They completed 400 laps – 1,016 miles – as the brothers became the first American-born drivers to win the event overall.
“It’s a great way to end the year,” Jordan Taylor said. “We’ve won the last race the last three seasons, and it’s a great trend we hope to continue. My dad won the first Petit Le Mans, so we’ve always heard about this race. He always talks highly about it, putting it up with Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring, We’ve had the car to beat the last two races, so we’re definitely looking forward to next season.”
Action Express Racing finished second, with Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa joined by IndyCar star Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 5 Corvette DP.
While it was denied the race victory, Action Express piled up several accolades throughout the event. They clinched the TUDOR Championship team title with the waving of the green flag, and less than two hours later Fittipaldi and Barbosa drove the required distance to secure the drivers’ crown.
At the eight-hour mark, the team wrapped up the $100,000 Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup team championship by leading the second segment in the unique competition rewarding competitors in the four endurance races in the TUDOR Championship: the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida and Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
“This team was unbelievable since the end of last season,” Barbosa said. “We worked all winter for the big challenge of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. It was a big task for a small team, but we had a great year. We were the only team to compete every lap in all of the races. We had eight podiums in 11 races, three great victories, and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Patrón Endurance Cup – what a great year for Action Express.”
Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Scott Dixon took third, one lap down in the No. 01 Telcel Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Ford EcoBoost/Riley, followed by the No. 0 DeltaWing DWC13 of Andy Meyrick, Katherine Legge and Gabby Chavez.
An accident involving Prototype Championship leader Sean Rayhall in the No. 25 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09 set up a seven-minute charge to the checkered flag. Jordan Taylor was up to the task, sprinting away from Barbosa to claim the team’s second victory of the season.
The No. 10 Corvette DP led nine times for 250 laps, with Action Express leading six times for 124 circuits. Ganassi Racing led three times for five laps and DeltaWing twice for 19 circuits. The event had 22 overall lead changes among seven cars.
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Starworks Wins Third In PC, CORE autosport Sweeps Championships
Renger van der Zande took advantage of a late caution period to score the third Prototype Challenge (PC) victory of the season for the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Martini ORECA FLM09 co-driven by Mirco Schultis and Alex Popow.
“This is my second time at Petit Le Mans and my second win,” said Popow, who won with CORE autosport in 2012. “To win again in my second appearance is incredible, and also to give Starworks its first victory here.”
CORE autosport’s Colin Braun finished second, 10.990 seconds behind in the No. 25 Flex-Box ORECA FLM09, as the team failed to sweep the four Patrón Endurance Cup races. Braun and Jon Bennett added the PC team title to the drivers’ titles they clinched at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas, and also joined James Gue in winning both team and drivers’ championships in the Patrón Endurance Cup in the No. 54 Composite Resources entry.
“I don’t think we had the raw pace that we needed today,” Braun said. “But I think we showed our strength by not giving up. We just kept our heads down and kept working, I wanted to be one spot better, but we came here to win the championship and we were able to accomplish that goal.”
Atlanta-area driver Sean Rayhall was leading the class in the No. 25 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09 when he hit the wall in Turn 4 with 19 minutes remaining – bringing out the 13th and final caution of the event. Rayhall – who co-drove with Tom Kimber-Smith and Eric Lux – was uninjured in the incident.
The incident briefly gave the lead to Gunnar Jeannette, who co-drove the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Camp Boggy Creek/Bayshore Family of Companies ORECA FLM09 with Frankie Montecalvo. However, both van der Zande and Braun managed to get by following the restart. Jeannette, who pitted for fuel, held on to finish third.