Ricky Taylor obliterated the opposition to grab pole position in the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R by over eight tenths of a second during qualifying for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The #10 Cadillac lapped the 2.238-mile road course in 1min16.853sec, on a day when seven cars went under the P2 lap record at the beautiful Monterey racetrack. The WTR team is seeking its sixth victory of the year tomorrow, and should it achieve that feat, the championship is theirs.
“The guys have done a lot of work since Road America," said Taylor. "That’s what I love about all our Konica Minolta guys – they keep looking for more speed and they keep finding it and it makes my brother Jordan’s and my job so much easier to go out there and execute, takes a lot of the pressure off.
"Tomorrow is going to be really important for the points, as well. We need to make sure we keep our noses clean and get through safely, but we want to win more than anything and we just want to go to Petit [Le Mans] with another win under our belts – and we’ll want another win there, as well.”
Taylor's time left Christian Fittipaldi a breathless 0.829sec behind in the #5 Action Express Racing Cadillac, which was mere hundredths faster than Marc Goossens in the Visit Florida Racing Ligier. Eric Curran was fourth in the second AXR Caddy.
Jose Gutierrez took fifth fastest in the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsport Ligier, ahead of the two ESM Nissan DPis of Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek.
GT Le Mans was a walkover for Toni Vilander whose Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 set three laps fast enough for pole, the best of which was a quarter second ahead of Dirk Muller’s #66 Ford GT. John Edwards beat RLL BMW M6 teammate Alexander Sims by 0.001sec, with the second Ford of Ryan Briscoe claiming fifth ahead of Patrick Pilet in the quickest Porsche 911 RSR.
The Corvette Racing pair were a disappointing seventh and ninth, Jan Magnussen ahead of Oliver Gavin. Despite looking promisingly swift in practice, they were 0.9sec from Vilander’s benchmark, the yellow cars split by Laurens Vanthoor in the second 911 RSR.
In GT Daytona, Paul Miller Racing grabbed its third pole position of the year thanks to an excellent lap from Madison Snow, a 1min24.469sec, which put the #48 Lamborghini Huracan around a quarter-second quicker than Daniel Morad’s best in the Alegra Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Said Snow: "We topped the final practice, which gave us more pressure into qualifying. It made me even more nervous, knowing we had a car that was quick.
"We did some hard work between the sessions, and ended up being able to come out and do a really good lap when the tire was at its prime condition."
Third fastest was Patrick Lindsey in the Park Place Motorsports Porsche, followed by Jens Klingmann in the Turner Motorsports BMW M6, Sage Karam in the 3GT Lexus RC F, Corey Lewis in Change Racing’s Lamborghini and Ozz Negri in the fastest of the Acura NSXs.