• Taylor brothers set defense at Long Beach

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    Brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor are aiming to pilot their No. 10 Konica Minolta to a win at the BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach in California on Sunday. IMSA.COM

    Brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor are aiming to pilot their No. 10 Konica Minolta to a win at the BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach in California on Sunday. IMSA.COM

    The Taylor brothers will be defending on Sunday the race they won Long Beach, California last year.

    So at the BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach, one of the more anticipated participants will be Wayne Taylor Racing and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP driven by Ricky and Jordan Taylor.

    The brothers are the defending winners of the 100-minute sprint race on the historic California street circuit after finishing second in the inaugural International Motor Sports Association WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race in 2014. The Taylors opened the season by finishing second in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, but placed 12th in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida to fall to sixth in the Prototype standings.

    “We have been to Long Beach twice and we unloaded with a good car right off the bat,” Ricky Taylor said. “The Corvette has always suited the tight corners and hard braking at Long Beach. Track position is very important and qualifying is a premium, which we have managed to achieve a good result both times.”

    “We’ve always seemed to run well on both street courses and sprint races,” added Jordan Taylor. “We’ve had a first and second at Long Beach, and then two wins at Detroit. Everything has to go right in these races, from the drivers maximizing every lap, to the guys in the pits for that one crucial stop, to the strategy. So I think it just shows how well our team executes in those situations.”

    The team faces stiff challenges from a trio of Corvette DPs, a Honda-powered Ligier JS P2, a pair of Mazda Prototypes and the Panoz DeltaWing Racing coupe.

    Visit Florida Racing has an all-new driver line-up in the No. 90 Corvette DP that finished third at Long Beach a year ago, with Marc Goossens joined by 2012 IndyCar Series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay.

    Action Express Racing returns with the same driver line-ups that took fourth and fifth at Long Beach in 2015. Eric Curran and Dane Cameron share the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP, while 2014-15 Prototype champions Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa co-drive the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP.

    Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian fields the No. 60 Honda Ligier JS P2 of Ozz Negri and John Pew that won the pole at Sebring; Mazda Motorsports saw both of its cars finish in the top 10 at Sebring, with Tristan Nunez and Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 55 Mazda/Castrol/ModSpace entry and Tom Long and Joel Miller in the No. 70 entry; and Katherine Legge will be joined by Long Beach newcomer Andy Meyrick in the No. 0 Panoz DeltaWing Racing coupe that led the Rolex 24.

    THE TIMES

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