Rolex Series

Wayne Taylor Racing Take Points Lead With Detroit Win

2 Mins read
WTR's Detroit victory follows their win at Barber Motorsports Park (Credit: Grand-Am)

Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli scored their second race win of the Rolex Series season, and with it took the class points lead away from Belle Isle in Detroit.

Starting from pole position the Wayne Taylor Racing pairing were the team to beat throughout race. However, they did not lead the entire event, Taylor losing out to Alex Popow on lap 17 as the Starworks Motorsport driver threatened to spoil the GM party in the shadow of the Detroit HQ.

Popow led until a full course caution flag flew just after the half way. Burt Frisselle’s Action Express Racing Corvette DP and the GT class Turner Motorsport BMW made contact, spinning Michael Marsal in the BMW into the tyre barriers. While Marsal was able to continue with only a minimal delay the incident had damaged the steering of Frisselle’s #9 leaving him stranded on track.

The near perfect timing of the caution period brought almost the entire DP field into the pits at once, with Angelelli able to retake the lead in pitlane from the Starworks team which installed Ryan Dalziel in the car in place of Popow.

Shortly after the restart Dalziel lost second place to Joao Barbosa in the undelayed Action Express Corvette DP to set the finishing order. Barbosa, sharing the #5 with Christian Fittipaldi ended the race less than a half a second behind Angelelli, with Dalziel also within a second of the leader.

The order remained the same through a late race caution period after Pedro Lamy span the 8Star Motorsports Corvette DP into the wall, which brought the race to a six lap sprint to end the two hour race.

Lamy and Frisselle’s teams were not the only DP squads to be bitten by the street track. The race began with a 20 minute caution period after Memo Rojas and John Pew made heavy contact at turn five on the opening lap. Rojas was forced wide through the corner by Gustavo Yacaman in the #6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley and hit the tyre wall on the outside of the left hander before bouncing back straight into the path of an innocent Pew.

The crash put both cars out on the spot and with neither completing a lap both left Detroit without picking up a point dropping Rojas and co-driver Scott Pruett from the points lead to fourth place.

Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney hold second place in points, though they only finished sixth. Ahead Spirit of Daytona Racing finished fifth despite twice taking damage in incidents. Dane Cameron and Wayne Nonnamaker scored Team Sahlen’s  best race result since their off-season move into the Daytona Prototype class in fourth.

Despite falling from pole in the opening laps Robin Liddell and John Edwards won their third consecutive race in the GT class. Liddell fought up to second before the mid-race caution and as in DP the eventual race victory was decided in the pits with Edwards able to beat Jeff Segal out of the pits after the latter had taken over the class leading R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Ferrari started by Max Papis.

Segal fell back to third behind Alessandro Balzan who had taken over the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari from Jeff Westphal. Balzan pressured Edwards to the end of the race but was never able to pass, following the Stevenson Motorsports driver to the checkered flag with Papis and Segal’s 458 completing the podium. Andy Lally and John Potter were fourth for Magnus Racing.

Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez won the GX class, Miller taking the lead from BGB Motorsports’ Spencer Pumpelly shortly after the final restart when an electrical problem struck the Porsche Cayman.

The next race of the Rolex Series season takes place in a fortnight at Mid-Ohio.

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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