• Taylor brothers get class win at Long Beach

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    The Taylor brothers led all but three of the 75 laps of the 100-minute race at Long Beach, California over the weekend. IMSA.COM

    The Taylor brothers led all but three of the 75 laps of the 100-minute race at Long Beach, California over the weekend. IMSA.COM

    The Taylor brothers raced to victory in the Prototype Class of the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach on Sunday at Long Beach, California.

    Although they were beaten out for the Total Pole Award on Saturday, Ricky Taylor didn’t have to make anything dramatic on the race track. Driving the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP, Taylor bested polesitter Christian Fittipaldi into Turn 1 on the opening lap and paired with his brother Jordan to take the chequered flag.

    “I was devastated after qualifying,” Taylor admitted after learning they failed to take pole position. “Track position is so important here at Long Beach. I was thinking about it all night, and with the race not starting until 4 p.m., I planned so many scenarios for the start of the race. Sometimes when you’re second, it’s a nice position to be in, and you’re not the first person to feel the grip levels and you can be the one attacking. Christian gave me some room, there was some rubbing, but it was fun.”

    The brothers lead all but three of the 75 laps in the 100-minute race on the 1.968-mile (3.15-kilometer) temporary circuit, giving the Corvette DP its first triumph of the season. It was the fifth WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory for the Taylors and 12th career victory for both brothers in major North American sports car competition.

    Joao Barbosa finished second, 2.958 seconds behind after taking over from Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP. Action Express Racing teammates Eric Curran and Dane Cameron took third in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP, 4.159 seconds back at the finish.

    While off the podium, Mazda Motorsports had its best outing to date in WeatherTech Championship competition. Tom Long led three laps and joined Joel Miller in finishing fourth in the No. 70 Castrol/ModSpace Mazda Prototype, one position ahead of Tristan Nunez and Jonathan Bomarito in the team’s No. 55 entry.

    The second-place finish elevated Fittipaldi and Barbosa from third to first in the Prototype point standings. Unofficially, they lead teammates Curran and Cameron by three points, 93-90, with the Taylors advancing from sixth to third with 89 points.

    “If you can’t win, finish second and take the points,” said Fittipaldi, who is seeking his third consecutive Prototype title with Barbosa for Action Express. “I’m sure these points will be important at the end of the season, and now off to next race. I’m happy to be leading the championship leaving Long Beach today.” THE TIMES

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