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Cadillac V-Performance Racing drivers Michael Cooper (Syosset, N.Y) and Jordan Taylor (Apopka, Fla.) finished third today in the GT Pro/Pro category in this weekend’s second Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) SprintX race at Virginia International Raceway (VIR). Teammates Johnny O’Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.), and Ricky Taylor (Lake Mary, Fla.) finished 12th in the Pro/Pro class.
Based upon their fast race lap from yesterday, Jordan Taylor started the No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe from the second row in fourth. Brother Ricky Taylor had the wheel of the No. 3 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe on row six in 12th. At the drop of the green Jordan Taylor was able to make up one position into Turn 1 and slotted into the third. A little further back Ricky Taylor was battling a swarm of cars in the No. 3 Cadillac. As the race progressed to the mandatory pit stop window a caution flew 19-minutes into the event. The race went green again at the 30-minute mark, the two Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupes came to the pits for the driver change at 34-minutes. Cooper took over the No. 8 Vector Blue Cadillac and returned to the race in third place, O’Connell jumped behind the wheel of the No. 3 Velocity Red Cadillac and rejoined the race in seventh. Fifty-four minutes into the race the second full course slowed the field. O’Connell reported that he ran over some debris on the track and had a tire going flat. The team had to pit O’Connell to change the tire. He went out in 13th (12th in class) position and the race soon ended under yellow.
“We had a really smooth driver change,” Cooper said. “I had a big battle on the out lap and was able to get a position. There was a lot going on with the traffic. Jordan did a good job moving us up from fourth to third. We came in as soon as the pit window opened, we were able to gain that last podium position. It is nice to get a second podium finish on the weekend for everyone at Cadillac Racing.”
“I think it was a good race,” Jordan Taylor said. “When we started the weekend in practice we were seventh or eighth. This was my first time starting a race in three years. I was able to get by the No. 4 Audi in Turn 1 and get behind the Mercedes. They were fast all weekend and I knew if I could hang them it would be good. We made the most of the race, no mistakes. Michael and I had a clean run. The team gave us a good car. To leave here with two podium finishes is a good weekend.”
“It was an eventful start,” Ricky Taylor said. “It was my first start with the Cadillac ATS-V.R. I learned a lot and I know what to do different the next time. I settled into the stint and was able to make up a couple of positions. We suffered from the track position that we lost from yesterday. You really have to put in a full weekend here in PWC. We were having a pretty good run, Johnny was pushing his way into the top five and then the flat took that away. The encouraging thing is that the team really executed well with no mistakes in this first SprintX weekend.”
“Congratulations to the guys in the No. 8 Cadillac, they had a great weekend,” O’Connell said. “We had a great race car both days. We moved up in our run today like we did yesterday. The Mercedes checked out, the rest of us were in a nice pack. Unfortunately during that last wreck I picked up a puncture and had to pit for a tire. We were running seventh and I was ready to make a move toward the end, then that crash happened. We have had three tough race weekends. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is next and I have won there more than anyone else and we will be looking to add to that in a couple of weeks.”
The Pirelli World Challenge Series will travel to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, May 19-21 for the second round of SprintX races. The race from VIR will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network, May 7 at 6 p.m.
Article by Kyle Chura
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