The No. 3 Corvette Takes Top GTLM Spot for Fourth Time in 2021; De Angelis Wins First GTD Pole
By Jeff Olson
LAKEVILLE, Connecticut – Jordan Taylor’s experimentation paid off.
In a day that included wet, dry and intermediate conditions, Taylor tried a few different things Friday to win the pole position for the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.
Taylor, who shares the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R and the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class points lead with Antonio Garcia in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, will lead the field Saturday when the two-hour, 40-minute race begins at 3:10 p.m. ET.
Facing a variety of conditions – including a 43-minute red flag because of lightning – during two practice sessions earlier Friday, Taylor used different approaches to his advantage during the 15-minute qualifying session that closed the day’s activities.
“It was a lot of experimenting,” Taylor said after winning the fourth pole of the season for the No. 3. “Brake points were different, carrying speed through (Turns) 6 and 7. I had two pretty big moments just because I thought I could carry a lot more speed than I could. It was good to have that in my pocket for tomorrow to know where the limits are.”
Taylor’s fastest lap – 49.958 seconds (106.216 mph) around Lime Rock’s seven-turn, 1.474-mile circuit – was just 0.142 seconds faster than Tommy Milner’s fastest lap in the sister No. 4 Corvette C8.R he shares with Nick Tandy. Cooper MacNeil was third fastest in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 that he is co-driving this week with Mathieu Jaminet.
The full day of practice and qualifying began in dry conditions, transitioned to wet, then was halted because of lightning before moving back to dry.
“Antonio started on new tires this morning,” Taylor explained. “I got in on older tires. The afternoon session was damp, so I drove on rain tires and then in the intermediate conditions on slicks. Everyone in GTLM was figuring it out on new tires in the dry (in qualifying). We weren’t here last year, so it was a lot to learn.”
De Angelis Captures First Motul Pole Award in GT Daytona
Roman De Angelis also recorded a timely Motul Pole Award in the GT Daytona (GTD) class, recording a top lap of 51.729 seconds (102.580 mph) in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 he co-drives with Ross Gunn.
It was a prize the Heart of Racing Team had been chasing and the first WeatherTech Championship pole for the 20-year-old Canadian.
“Our results have been very good,” De Angelis said. “In the last seven or eight races, we’ve been in the top five every race with a handful of podiums. One of the few things we didn’t check off was a pole, so that was also super important.”
De Angelis, who’s second with Gunn in the GTD season standings behind the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 co-driven by Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley, was 0.045 seconds ahead of Aaron Telitz in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 he shares with Jack Hawksworth.
Richard Heistand was third fastest in the No. 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 he shares with Jeff Westphal.
After the GTD pole qualifying session, Hawksworth went out and posted the fastest lap of 51.545 seconds (102.946 mph) during the GTD points qualifying session.
De Angelis and Gunn lead the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup standings for the non-endurance events, which includes this weekend’s race. They are 27 points ahead of Frankie Montecalvo, who shares the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus with Zach Veach.
Live streaming coverage of Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix – which features the GTLM and GTD classes – is available on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App at 3:10 p.m. The NBCSN telecast kicks off at 5:30 p.m.