2017 Long Beach Grand Prix
2017 Long Beach Grand Prix
LONG BEACH, California (April 4, 2017) – Brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor have earned the title “Kings of the Beach” by co-driving to dominating victories each of the last two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship seasons on the historic Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.) street circuit.


LONG BEACH, California (April 4, 2017) – Brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor have earned the title “Kings of the Beach” by co-driving to dominating victories each of the last two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship seasons on the historic Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.) street circuit.

This weekend, they return with a tidal wave of momentum in their new-for-2017 No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, which they’re hoping will deliver not only the team’s third consecutive Long Beach victory, but will make them three-for-three to start the season after resounding victories at the iconic endurance marathons – the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

After a close runner-up finish at Long Beach the first time the WeatherTech Championship visited Long Beach in 2014, the Taylor brothers have led 145 of the 153 race laps contested around the 1.97-mile, 11-turn seaside street course in winning both the 2015 and 2016 events.

In 2015, Ricky Taylor qualified on the pole and led the opening 37 laps before pitting to turn the Konica Minolta racecar over to his younger brother, who retook the lead five laps later and never looked back. Last year, Ricky Taylor qualified second but was in the lead before the field reached turn one on race day and lead the opening 37 laps once again. This time, stellar pit work by the Konica Minolta crew enabled Jordan Taylor to regain the lead once the field completed its round of stops and held on for the final 36 laps.

While the back-to-back Long Beach victories were completed in just over three total hours of racing, the Taylor brothers and their brand new Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R have been nearly as unstoppable over this year’s season-opening “36 Hours of Florida,” first at Daytona International Speedway in late-January and then Sebring International Raceway in mid-March. Alongside veteran Italian Max “The Ax” Angelelli and four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, they led a race-high 263 of 659 laps en route to the Rolex 24 win. With new third driver Alex Lynn of Great Britain, they led 123 of 348 laps in their Sebring 12-hour win. That’s 386 of 1,007 – or 38.3 percent – laps led in two of the most grueling races in the world. And the new racecar performed flawlessly in both thanks to manufacturer Cadillac’s preseason testing and development regimen.

Saturday’s one-hour, 40-minute sprint race might seem like a blip in comparison, but it offers its own, unique set of challenges, not the least of which is navigating the tight, twisty series of left and right turns on city streets in the midst of a 35-car field – the largest sportscar field ever entered at Long Beach – that includes GT Le Mans- and GT Daytona-class cars mixed with the Prototypes.

But with the now-proven reliability of the new Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R and the team’s standard-setting performance preparing its racecar and executing pit stops, the Taylor brothers are hoping they have the ingredients necessary to ride their latest wave of momentum all the way to the top step of the podium once again this weekend.

Practice for Saturday’s Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach begins Friday morning with Prototype-class qualifying set for 9 p.m. EDT Friday with live video provided by IMSA.tv beginning at 7:30 p.m. The green flag flies at 4:05 p.m. Saturday with the FOX network and the FOX Sports GO app providing live coverage beginning at 4 p.m. Live timing and scoring during all on-track sessions is available at IMSA.com and the IMSA smartphone app.

RICKY TAYLOR, driver, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R:

You arrive in Long Beach with more momentum than ever after sweeping both the Daytona and Sebring endurance marathons. Your thoughts as the team heads west to try and make it three in a row on the season and three in a row at Long Beach?

“It will definitely be a change of pace from the first two events of the year. But we need to still carry over the great execution the team has been performing with through the first 36 hours of racing. We will need to take the confidence and positive performance and change our mindset into sprint mode, where the priority will be track position and qualifying toward the front. At Long Beach, we can use what we learned at Sebring about what makes our car fast over bumps and combine it with our experience from that racetrack in past years.”

Is there something about the street races, in particular, that makes it seem like the team is dialed in has executed better than anybody else the last few years?

“I think our team did a good job of adapting to changing track conditions, and using the experience of street racing to give us a good car each time we hit the track. Unloading well for first practice is critical due to the limited track time. I think the street courses are definitely the most stressful of the year for the driver because there is no room for error. But the satisfaction of winning on a street course is amazing, and it’s a great accomplishment to get through one of these tough events because the tracks are so unforgiving and the races are very demanding, mentally.”

Typically, at street races, the big question is can the cars withstand the punishment of running on changing surfaces and the bumps. But safe to say you already found out at Sebring that the new car can handle it. Your thoughts on that and how it might translate to Long Beach?

“Sebring is the most demanding of all our races. But, at Long Beach, it is more unforgiving for the driver and we cannot make any mistakes because there is no runoff around the entire track. I think Cadillac has done an amazing job building a strong car and we can be quite confident in the reliability of our car.”

Your favorite moments of the last three Long Beach races?

“My favorite thoughts about the last three years at Long Beach has been the combination of each of the variables that contributed to our success. We’ve won on strategy, we’ve won on pit stops, and we’ve won on overtaking. So, it’s really taken the entire team to give us the success we’ve had.”

JORDAN TAYLOR, driver, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R:

You arrive in Long Beach with more momentum than ever after sweeping both the Daytona and Sebring endurance marathons. Your thoughts as the team heads west to try and make it three in a row on the season and three in a row at Long Beach?

“I always look forward to starting the ‘sprint race’ part of our season. Daytona and Sebring are long races and you take it easy most of the time while you’re in the car. When we get to Long Beach, you’re flat out all the time. We’ve had flawless runs through the first two events this season, which are our toughest, so we’ll just have to carry that momentum into one of our shortest races of the year.”

Is there something about the street races, in particular, that makes it seem like the team is dialed in has executed better than anybody else the last few years?

“The street-course races are short and intense. You have to have a balance of aggression and risk. Street-course races are notoriously tough to pass on, so qualifying is very important. We usually only have one pit stop, so a lot comes down to the execution of that stop. Thankfully, in the past few years we’ve had strong qualifying positions that have set us up well for the race. The street races are always fun because of the atmosphere. You get the feel of the city and the fans at these events. The tracks are always tricky because there is no room for error.”

Typically, at street races, the big question is can the cars withstand the punishment of running on changing surfaces and the bumps. But safe to say you already found out at Sebring that the new car can handle it. Your thoughts on that and how it might translate to Long Beach?

“I think we’ve proved a lot about our new Cadillac. We came out of the box for the two toughest races of the year and ran flawlessly. I think we showed good pace at Sebring and learned some good things about the car, which should help us in Long Beach.”

Your favorite moments of the last three Long Beach races?

“Long Beach has always been good to us. We’ve had a second and two wins the past three years, and it was where we launched our partnership with Konica Minolta back in 2014. Every year we go back, it’s a nice little reunion.”

WAYNE TAYLOR, owner, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R:

Your overall thoughts about heading back to Long Beach this weekend?

“I’m really excited to go to Long Beach, to be there in the Cadillac with Konica Minolta. For Cadillac, it’s a big weekend because the PWC (Pirelli World Challenge Series) is also racing, so I’m looking forward to be there with that whole family. And it’s going to be another special one for Konica in the place we announced our partnership three years ago. To give you an indication of how important of a weekend it is for Konica Minolta, their president Rick Taylor, who is an even bigger golf fan than he is a race fan, is foregoing The Masters to be in Long Beach with us. And their chairman Tom Taiko is coming all the way from Japan and he’s really excited at the chance to see us win in-person for the first time. The pressure will be on, that’s for sure.”

Everyone is talking about the momentum from winning Daytona and Sebring to start the season. Do you expect it to have an effect on this weekend’s race?

“Obviously, we’re beyond excited to have won both the Rolex and Sebring. It was exactly 21 years ago that I did it as a driver, and now did it as a dad and a team owner with my kids and our team. We’ve had a very success last few years at Long Beach and I think we’ll be fairly competitive again this year, even with the current situation with the BoP (Balance of Performance), which might make things very difficult for us. But we’ll take it one race at a time and address any issues after the race if it doesn’t work out. We have made it work these last two races in a row, now, because we have clearly the best team, crew and drivers out there. This weekend, we’re unfortunately without our technical director Brian Pillar because he has a stomach ailment that has him on a liquid diet and he’s been asked not to travel. We’ll miss not having him this weekend, but we’re confident he and Adam (Banet, support engineer) will work closely together to keep our momentum going. We’ll have one or two hurdles to jump over but we’ll do everything we can to find our way.”