Daytona 24 Hours: Wayne Taylor Cadillac scores controversial win

Cadillac claimed victory in the Daytona 24 Hours as two of its new prototypes battled right to the end of the IMSA SportsCar Championship opener.

Daytona 24 Hours: Wayne Taylor Cadillac scores controversial win
#5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque; #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor, Max Angelelli, Jeff Gordon
#66 Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, Sébastien Bourdais
#66 Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, Sébastien Bourdais
#66 Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, Sébastien Bourdais; #57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS GT3: Andrew Davis, Lawson Aschenbach, Matt Bell, Robin Liddell
#55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi: Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez, Spencer Pigot, on fire in the pits
 #5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque; #28 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R: Daniel Morad, Jesse Lazare, Carlos de Quesada, Michael de Quesada, Michael Christensen
#911 Porsche Team North America Porsche 911 RSR: Patrick Pilet, Dirk Werner, Frédéric Makowiecki
Podium: race winners Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor, Max Angelelli, Jeff Gordon, Wayne Taylor Racing, GTLM first place Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, Sébastien Bourdais, Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing, PC first place James French, Kyle Mason, Patricio O'Ward, Nicholas Boulle, Performance Tech Motorsports, GTD first place Daniel Morad, Jesse Lazare, Carlos de Quesada, Michael de Quesada, Michael Christensen, Alegra Motorsports
Race winner #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor, Max Angelelli, Jeff Gordon
Race winner #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor, Max Angelelli, Jeff Gordon

The Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R shared by brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor, Max Angelelli and Jeff Gordon took the victory by just over half a second from the best of the Action Express Racing Caddys.

The race turned into a 20-minute dash to the flag after the 21st and final safety car of an event that ran in wet conditions for nearly half of its duration.

The WTR Cadillac with Ricky Taylor at the wheel was a second behind Albuquerque after the race went green for the final time.

The controversial moment

Taylor closed down the gap and then made an opportunist move into Turn 1 with four laps to go.

The WTR had got his nose alongside the rear wheels of the leader when Albuquerque turned in and spun as a result of the ensuing contact.

That gave Taylor an lead of just over four seconds, which the Action Express driver was able to eat into over the remaining laps.

Jordan Taylor said: "I'm relieved because we've come close so many times before.

"My little brother finally made it happen today."

The two Cadillacs moved away from their remaining rival once the track began to dry as lunchtime approached on Sunday.

The Spirit of Daytona Riley-Gibson MK30 LMP2 car could run with the leaders during the wet portion of the race, but had no answer for the Caddys on a dry track.

Marc Goossens, Renger van der Zande and Rene Rast slipped a lap down in the Riley before the race was complete.

Extreme Speed Motorsports drivers Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and Pipo Derani and took fourth position, three laps in arrears, in the best of the teams pair of Nissan-Onroak DPis.

GTLM

Ford triumphed in another close battle in the GT Le Mans class.

Dirk Muller had to withstand intense late pressure in the Chip Ganassi Ford GT he shared with Joey Hand and Sebastien Bourdais.

Patrick Pilet, in the factory Porsche 911 RSR co-driven with Frederic Makowiecki and Dirk Werner, put the Ford driver under pressure before having to back off over the final laps to allow Muller to win by nearly three seconds.

The Porsche driver was then pushed hard by James Calado in the Risi Cometizione Ferrari 488 GTE, but held on to take the runner-up spot by just 0.091s.

GTD

The Alegra Motorsports Porsche team claimed a surprise GT Daytona class victory with Michael Christensen, Daniel Morad, Jesse Lazare and father-son duo Carlos and Michael de Quesada.

They moved into contention in the closing stages before factory driver Christensen moved the car into the lead.

The Dane crossed the line just a couple of tenths clear of the Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS driven by Christopher Mies, Jules Gounon, Connor De Phillippi and Jeffrey Schmidt.

CLICK HERE for complete race results

 

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