Wayne Taylor Racing

Rolex 24 champs come up short in close finish to 12 Hours of Sebring

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Had the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. passed just one more car in the closing laps of Saturday’s 12 Hours of Sebring, the team would have won all three of North America’s premier sports car races in succession.

With Jordan Taylor closing the race behind the wheel, the No. 10 finished second to Action Express’ No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R. by just 1.030 seconds – the closest overall finish in race history.

WTR entered the weekend coming off back-to-back victories in the 2018 season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and this year’s Rolex 24 season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Despite finishing second, it was all smiles for Taylor, who shared the entry with Renger van de Zande and Mattieu Vaxiviere.

We had a third-place car all day, so to finish second was good,” Taylor said. “I think we overshot what we were capable of today. It was a good points day. We would have loved to win Sebring again, but I didn’t think it was worth a huge risk for the points to make a move there at the end. I am happy with second, and we will go on to Long Beach.”

Indeed, the team’s runner-up finish was an achievement to celebrate. They began the race with an unscheduled pit stop to correct an overheating problem. Not long after, there was more bad luck with a pit-road speeding penalty, forcing the car off the lead lap for a time.

But with plenty of hours remaining, the team was able to get back up front by the second half of the race, and Taylor found himself in position to take the win from Felipe Nasr in the No. 31 on the final restart with 7 minutes to go.

However, Nasr quickly stepped on the gas coming to the green, leaving Taylor in his dust and ultimately pulling away to the checkered flag.

Even so, WTR knew it was still a great day in regards to the DPi championship. Having traded wins in the first 2 races with the No. 31 Action Express team, the teams are tied atop the class standings.

“It was a long race and I think we did well in the end,” van de Zande said. “We missed out a little bit on speed compared to the guys who won, but we made the most out of it apart from that. Being second here is good points. It kept our podium streak alive, and there were a lot of positives. We would’ve loved to have won this one, but you can’t always have it all. It’s fine. It’s OK.”

The next race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix, which will take place on the streets of Long Beach, California, on April 13. Coverage will begin at 4:30pm ET on NBCSN.

Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

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FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

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