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Motul Petit Le Mans

October 7, 2017
2017 Road Race Showcase at Road America
2017 Road Race Showcase at Road America
Business as usual. For the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team and its drivers Ricky and Jordan Taylor, business as usual means relentlessly meticulous preparation, creative and opportunistic strategy, standard-setting performance on pit road, and smart and fearless driving.

ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (Aug. 1, 2017) – Business as usual. For the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team and its drivers Ricky and Jordan Taylor, business as usual means relentlessly meticulous preparation, creative and opportunistic strategy, standard-setting performance on pit road, and smart and fearless driving.

That was the case as the team reeled off an incredible five consecutive wins to start the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, and it was also the case during the last two races at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, what a one-two punch of on-track incidents led to uncharacteristic results of sixth and seventh place.

Win, lose or draw, the Taylor brothers and their Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team always seem to be business as usual. Not too high when they win, not too low when they lose, and always looking to the next challenge, which comes in the form of Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Like each of the previous seven rounds this season, the focus continues to be on winning, even with a 19-point lead in the championship with three races remaining. There is no such thing as cruising around and collecting points for this bunch. Even after suspension damage on the opening lap of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen put the team several laps down, the team continued to operate with an eye toward winning the race as it turned laps as competitive as the race leaders throughout. Then, a week later in Canada, it was a gutsy call to stay on racing slicks even in wet conditions that put the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R in the lead by more than 20 seconds in the closing stages of the race, only to see it undone by contact with a GT-class competitor, it didn’t take long for the attention to turn to Road America.

The scenic racetrack about an hour’s drive north and west of Milwaukee hasn’t yielded the greatest results for the team. Third-place finishes in 2011 and 2016 sandwich four straight finishes of no better than seventh, even though the team has led laps each and every year. With this year’s introduction of the lightning-fast No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, combined with the team operating at seemingly its highest level in its 10-year history, there is huge optimism that this will finally be its year at Road America.

Practice for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase begins Friday morning with Prototype-class qualifying set for 2:50 p.m. EDT Saturday with live video at IMSA.tv beginning at 1:35 p.m. The green flag flies at 2:35 p.m. Sunday with live TV coverage set for FS1 beginning at 2:30. 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:

After a pair of very high-speed, old-school racetracks in Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, how do you feel Road America compares?

“Road America is perhaps more of a compromise track where there are three very long straights but also a lot of hard braking and technical, high-speed sections. My favorite part of the track is the carousel and kink, which are also the most synonymous with Road America. They take a lot of commitment but are also very technical in terms of driving style. The carrousel and kink are also the most challenging because they take a lot of commitment and are difficult to execute perfectly.”

Your thoughts on lightning striking at both Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park after such an incredible first half of the season?

“We had an incredible start to the season and the misfortune at Watkins Glen and Mosport are the kinds of things that happen sometimes in racing. In order to win races and be competitive, some risk has to be taken and the risks that were taken were no more or less risky than in any of the first five races. I feel the team is still performing in a winning manner and I don't think we have missed a beat, even with two poor results. The performance is still there.”

How do you expect the Cadillac DPi-V.R will take to Road America?

“I can’t wait to drive our Cadillac DPi.V.R around Road America. The car is so efficient and makes so much downforce that corners like the carrousel and kink are going to be much quicker than in past years.”

You’re up 19 points in the standings with just three races to go. What will be the team’s approach to these last three races?

“We will keep with our plan – we still want to win races. The team is working as hard as ever to make the car faster. We want to get to Road Atlanta (for the season-ending Petit Le Mans) with as many points as possible so we can be aggressive and go for maximum points in the TPNAEC (Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup), as well.”

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

After a pair of very high-speed, old-school racetracks in Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, how do you feel Road America compares?

“Road America is a unique track. It has a bit of everything – long, high-speed straights, high-speed corners, low-speed corners, elevation change, surface changes. It makes it a bit of a challenge to find a good compromise to get the lap time out of the car and a good car in race conditions. It’s a challenge for a driver to put a lap together, but it’s very rewarding when you do. We’ve had a strong car at all the different styles of tracks this year, so Road America shouldn’t be any different.”

Your thoughts on lighting striking at both Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park after such an incredible first half of the season?

“We definitely had two tough races. We had a flawless run for the first five races, but two tiny little moments had big implications on our results at Watkins Glen and Mosport. That’s just racing, you have highs and lows. We had a strong car at both of those events, so I don’t have any concerns that we’ll be back up front for the final three events.”

How do you expect the Cadillac DPi-V.R will take to Road America?

“Road America was one of the tracks that I was looking forward to most when we got the new Cadillac DPi-V.R. Corners like turn one, the carousel and the kink should be extremely fast. They seemed quick in the old Daytona Prototype, but the added downforce this year will make the track that much more enjoyable.”

You’re up 19 points in the standings with just three races to go. What will be the team’s approach to these last three races?

“Our approach doesn’t change. We’re still going out and racing our own races. We’ve won five races this year and there is no reason we can’t keep winning. Our guys have put us in winning positions all year with a winning car, so we’ll keep fighting for this championship.”

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

Your overall thoughts as we head to Road America for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase?

“With three races to go in the championship, this weekend adds up to be very important. They’re all important, when you get down to it, but we had incidents at the last two races that led to sixth- and seventh-place finishes after we were unbeaten through the first half of the season. We didn’t win those last two races, but we still showed we have a fast racecar that can be competitive anywhere. We just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing and do it with the things that have set us apart over the years – our superior driving, strategy and team performance on the pit stops. Road America has always been a good track for us. We just haven’t gotten the results to show for it. I think this will need to be the year we turn that around.”