Wayne Taylor Racing and BMW Team RLL didn’t have an easy time turning their pole positions into victories on Saturday at the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race on the streets of Long Beach, but after 100 minutes of hard racing both programs prevailed as their closest rivals were forced to surrender the lead.
For Ricky and Jordan Taylor, the warm and sunny day in Southern California was the perfect setting for a blistering run the moment the green flag waved. Their No. 10 Corvette DP was the class of the field, and only the second-place Ford EcoBoost DP driven by Scott Pruett and Joey Hand posed a challenge.
Despite turning over the lead in the pits at the 48-minute mark, Jordan Taylor quickly took the position back from Hand in a swift outbraking maneuver entering Turn 1. Despite intense pressure late in the race from Hand that saw the Ford draw to less than a second from the Corvette’s tail, the black DP was able to pull out a 3.3-second gap to claim a popular victory in front of a massive throng of supporters from the team’s primary sponsor.
“Ricky had a flawless stint leading the whole race, and when I came out of the pits, I don’t know if it was a slow out-lap [for Hand] or what, but the 01 got around us and our strength was under the braking and we’d only have one shot at it so I basically just went for it and thankfully it stuck,” said an elated Jordan Taylor. “It’s great for Konica-Minolta on our first-year anniversary together here at Long Beach.”
Third place went to a distant Richard Westbrook, who crossed the line 18 seconds behind Hand in his No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP. Action Express Racing’s Dane Cameron claimed fourth in the No. 31 Corvette DP after posting the fastest lap of the race while chasing down teammate Joao Barbosa in the ailing No. 5 AXR Corvette DP.
Up next for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 1-3.