IMSA SportsCar Championship: Taylor brothers conquer Long Beach
The brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor scored their first victory in the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship by winning the Grand Prix of Long Beach, the third round of the 2016 season. After leading the 72 of 75 laps in the 100-minute race on the 1.968-mile circuit, the Wayne Taylor’s #10 Corvette won with a 2.958sec gap ahead of Action Express #5 Corvette DP, driven by Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa. The #31 Action Express car of Eric Curran and Dane Cameron finished third.
Fittipaldi started the race from pole but lost the lead on the opening lap. Ricky Taylor made a move in a first turn and after that, the brothers defended their lead until the end. It was the fifth IMSA SportsCar Championship victory for the Taylors and 12th career victory for both brothers in major North American sports car competition.
Joel Miller and Tom Long, who led for three laps, scored the best ever result for the Mazda Motorsports by finishing the fourth in the #70 Mazda Prototype. The sister car #55, driven by Tristan Nunez and Jonathan Bomarito, finished fifth.
The second-place finish moved Fittipaldi and Barbosa from third to first in the Prototype point standings of the championship. They lead teammates Curran and Cameron by three points, with the Taylors advancing from sixth to third with 89 points.
In the Prototype Challenge (PC) category Mikhail Goikhberg and Stephen Simpson scored the second win of the season for JDC/Miller Motorsports. After they won the longest race of the season, 24h Daytona, they repeated the success in the shortest race of the season. Renger van der Zande finished second in the #8 Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09, started by Alex Popow. Performance Tech Motorsports’s James French and Kyle Marcelli took the third podium spot.
The #911 Porsche North America’s Porsche 911 RSR of Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy scored the GTLM class victory. Pilet and Tandy were helped by teammate Frederic Makowiecki in the #912 Porsche, who made a contact with leading #4 Chevrolet Corvette of Tommy Milner, just a few minutes before the end. Both cars spun and allowed Tandy to passed them for victory. Milner recovered from the spin and took the second place for him and Oliver Gavin, so they also took the lead in the GTLM class of the championship. The #62 Ferrari 488 of Risi Competizione, driven by Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander, finished third in class.