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Cadillac V-Performance Racing drivers Michael Cooper (Syosset, N.Y) and Jordan Taylor (Apopka, Fla.) won the first to two races in the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Championship at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) today. Teammates Johnny O’Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) and Ricky Taylor (Lake Mary, Fla.) completed the podium in third.
Cooper had the wheel of the No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R for the start of the 60-minute race. He started 22nd in the 34 car field due to not being able to make a timed lap in qualifying. The team’s strategy was to wait until the end of the 10-minute window to pit Cooper and insert Jordan Taylor. As luck would have it, as the other teams cycled through their pit stops, Cooper brought the Vector Blue Cadillac ATS-V.R to pit lane for the driver change at the 33-minute mark in first place. At the nearly the same time a full course yellow flew. This allowed Jordan Taylor to take over and return to the race still in the lead, in the middle of the field with a nearly half-lap lead.
“That was about the easiest race I have ever won,” Jordan Taylor said. “Michael did the hard work, he passed about 12 cars during his stint at the start. When we pitted we were basically a lap ahead. It was a strategy call that won the race and the yellow really helped. Michael did a great job. It was my job to bring it home. It is harder to drive when you are not under pressure and don’t have to push, the car handles completely different. I was just being cautious not to make a mistake.”
“The first couple of laps were about passing the GTA guys,” Cooper said. “I just did my job, executed and made clean passes. Once I got to the pros it got a little tougher, but I was able to make some good passes. The team made a great call and we got lucky with the yellow. Jordan did a great job to bring it home for the win. Incredible to go from last to first in a 60-minute race.”
O’Connell and Ricky Taylor also had a great run. O’Connell was able to run strong in third place when he turned the car over to the older Taylor brother. Ricky jumped in the Velocity Red Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe 30-minutes into the race. He returned to the fray and was able to hold the position and take the last step on the podium for a Cadillac one – three finish.
“I thought we were second the whole time, it turns out the No. 8 car was leading,” Ricky Taylor said. “It is nice to get a result for Cadillac. I think the rubber from the NASCAR guys who practiced before us changed the track. Our car was a bit of a handful. We executed well in the pits and that is where we got by the Mercedes and got a gap on the Bentley. The team performed well today.”
“You never know what is going to happen in this SprintX racing,” O’Connell said. “The No. 8 guys must be Irish and I must be adopted, they had the luck today. I am proud of the job Ricky and I did. We had a good race, no mistakes. Just about everyone got caught out with the yellow. I would execute the same way again. We made up time on the Porsche and went from third to second in that stop. Luck has always been a part of racing. We were luckier today than at VIR [Virginia International Raceway].”
Article written by: Kyle Chura
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