IMSA WeatherTech Championship

Through Trial and No Error, Taylor Speeds to Lime Rock Pole

Telitz Doubles up His Pole Fun at His Home Track in GT Daytona

August 7, 2021
By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – For his multitude of accomplishments in IMSA racing, Jordan Taylor had never claimed a pole position at Road America. Until now.

In difficult conditions Saturday afternoon middling between wet and drying, Taylor guided the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R to the top qualifying spot in GT Le Mans (GTLM) for the IMSA SportsCar Weekend race on Sunday. While it was the 19th pole position of Taylor’s stellar career, it was his first at Road America – a favorite track among nearly every driver.

Taylor was pleased to finally add qualifying honors at the high-speed, 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course to his lengthy list of achievements. Especially in the treacherous conditions, with the track dampened by rain just before the session began.

“It feels good,” Taylor said. “It’s great to be back at Road America, it’s one of our favorite events of the year. It’s Corvette Racing’s 20th time here, so it’s special to be part of that kind of history at this track.

“Yeah, it was definitely a tricky session with in-between conditions. We had a wet session yesterday, dry this morning and almost kind of in the middle for qualifying.”

Taylor’s top lap of 2 minutes, 20.979 seconds (103.368 mph) bested teammate Nick Tandy in the No. 4 Corvette by 0.627 seconds. Taylor and co-driver Antonio Garcia, the defending Road America class winners, will lead the GTLM field to green ahead of Tandy and Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Corvette, with Cooper MacNeil and Matt Campbell starting third in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19.

Taylor, seeking his 25th career win on Sunday, said the balance of risk versus reward is especially stressful in conditions like Saturday. He said Friday evening’s practice in wetter conditions helped the team gauge how to approach qualifying.

“Heading into qualifying, we had some confidence to know what to expect with tire pressures and how to warm up the tire,” he said. “It was a little bit drier than yesterday with not as much standing water. Getting the lap time in early when the tire was at its peak is what got us the pole.

“We almost replicated the lap at the end, but I think that was just figuring out where to go in the wet. The C8.R was consistent and it was strong. It’s another 1-2 in qualifying for Corvette Racing, so that bodes well for us in the race no matter if the race is wet or dry.”

Telitz Repeats Pole-Winning Effort in GT Daytona

Aaron Telitz continues feeling right at home at his home track. On Saturday, the Wisconsin native put the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Racing Lexus RC F GT3 on the GT Daytona (GTD) pole position for the second straight year at Road America.

In the Motul Pole Award session that began in light rain, Telitz turned a 2:07.195 lap (114.570 mph) early into the 15-minute segment, then parked his car as the precipitation increased. No one else eclipsed Telitz’s time in the deteriorating conditions, so he held on for the fifth Motul Pole Award of his WeatherTech Championship career and second this season.

Saturday’s effort came a year after Telitz collected his first career pole at Road America. He and co-driver Jack Hawksworth followed that up with a third-place finish in the race.

“Home track vibes are definitely happening this weekend and last year, too,” Telitz said. “Our Lexus RC F GT3 car was feeling really good out there in those mixed conditions. It was not easy – the rain was coming down a little harder on the backside of the course than the front side, so not easy to do – but happy to be starting from pole tomorrow.”

With Sunday’s forecast calling for another strong chance of rain, Telitz said he’s ready no matter the conditions.

“I wouldn’t say it’s the most enjoyable thing (driving in the rain),” he said. “I obviously like driving in the dry here at Road America better, but it’ll be fun whatever it is tomorrow.”

Trent Hindman qualified second in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R with a lap of 2:07.862 (113.972 mph). Hindman will share the car with Patrick Long on Sunday.

In the second GTD qualifying session to earn season championship and IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup points, Laurens Vanthoor was fastest at 2:21.855 (102.729 mph) in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche, 0.936 seconds ahead of Bill Auberlen in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.

Sunday’s race begins at 2:40 p.m. ET and airs live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and IMSA Radio. The NBCSN race telecast starts at 8 p.m.

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