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2018 Six Hours of the Glen Post Race Report
2018 Six Hours of the Glen Post Race Report
Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande and their No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team weathered six hours of near 100-degree temperatures and a wicked-fast field of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship LMP2-class competitors in earning their third consecutive fifth-place finish of the season Sunday in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen endurance marathon at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.


Date: July 1, 2018
Event: Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen (Round 6 of 10)
Series: Prototype division of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Location: Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International (3.4-mile, 11-turn road course)
Start/Finish: 8th / 5th (Running, completed 202 of 202 laps)
Winner: Misha Goikhberg, Stephen Simpson and Chris Miller of JDC-Miller Motorsports (Oreca LMP2)
Point Standing: 3rd (156 points, 13 out of first)

Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande and their No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team weathered six hours of near 100-degree temperatures and a wicked-fast field of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship LMP2-class competitors in earning their third consecutive fifth-place finish of the season Sunday in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen endurance marathon at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

With their top-five finish, Taylor and van der Zande chipped away ever so slightly at the championship points lead of their fellow Cadillac DPi-V.R competitors – the Nos. 5 and 31 Action Express Racing entries that finished just behind them in sixth and seventh place today, respectively. They trail the points-leading No. 5 Cadillac DPi.V.R team by 13 markers and the No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R by 12.

“I’ll have to say it was a good day, considering everything,” said Taylor, who emerged in the lead after a stellar pit stop under caution by the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R crew with just over 30 minutes remaining but just could not hold off a pack of faster competitors on the ensuing restart. “We were the best of the rest so, points-wise, we made up ground a little bit on the guys we needed to make up ground against. For the pace we had, we finished better than expected. I think it was down to strategy and staying out of trouble, and attrition wasn’t an issue for us. All in all, not the best day but, all things considered, I think we can leave here pretty happy.”

Van der Zande, the 32-year-old Dutch driving veteran who qualified eighth Saturday, wasted little time moving toward the front during his opening stint, working his way well into the top-five before handing the racecar over to Taylor at the one-hour, 36-minute mark.

“I was on a reasonable start – I think I could’ve done better, but I was on the outside and staying away from trouble,” van der Zande said. “After that, I managed to get into a rhythm, getting a feel for the car and the track conditions and everything, being careful in traffic. And then I managed to go toward the front. I don’t know if the others might have been getting tired or what. Obviously, we’re not the fastest car on the track, so it was all about managing the pace, trying to be smart and not making mistakes.”
Taylor then triple-stinted as the ambient temperatures began climbing and attrition began taking its toll on the field. He, too, comfortably stayed in the top-five through two rounds for fuel-and-tire stops before handing the reins back to van der Zande at the three-hour, 34-minute mark.

“It was an uneventful opening stint for me – I did a triple,” Taylor said. “We worked our way up from seventh to third or fourth just basically running our own race and not getting caught up in any of those battles up front. Working through traffic and our strategy on pit stops, we were able to jump ahead of a lot of those guys. We figured, if we just kept running our own race, hopefully there would be some more attrition and we could keep moving toward the front. It was so far, so good.”

On his final stint – a double – van der Zande appeared at times to have the racecar capable of running down the leaders, but it turned out to be a game of give-and-take as he was still able to stay comfortably in the top-five before handing the car back to Taylor after briefly inheriting the lead for two laps as the field cycled through the round of green-flag stops at the four-hour, 58-minute mark.
“We had our moments during that stint,” van der Zande said. “On the restart, I had a good move on the 31, and I had good fights with the 7, (Helio) Castroneves (several laps down), and the 32, (polesitter Colin) Braun, but once they got by me, there were gone. That’s frustrating because you drive the wheels off your car and there is no reward for it. The team did a great job getting me out as the first Cadillac on the pit stop, but then I lost the position to the 5 after a fight. Top-five here at Watkins Glen and we ended up the first Cadillac. That sums up our day, I guess.”

Taylor kept things smooth and steady over the final hour of the race and, when the fourth and final caution period of the day occurred with 45 minutes remaining, he pitted for a final splash of fuel and resumed in the lead with Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 6 Team Penske DPi and Stephen Simpson in the No. 99 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca-LMP2 right behind him.

When the green flag waved with 35 minutes remaining, Montoya and Simpson whipped past Taylor on either side of him through the high-speed, right-hand turns one and two and pulled away. Five laps later, Romain Dumas in the No. 54 Core Autosport Oreca LMP2 and Paul Di Resta in the No. 32 United Autosports Ligier LMP2 got by Taylor and also pulled away.

Taylor successfully held off the Action Express Cadillac DPi-V.Rs over the final 25 minutes for the top-five finish while Simpson outdueled runner-up Dumas and the third-place-finishing Montoya for his and his team’s first victory.

“Well, a very big congratulations to JDC and Core Autosport and Team Penske for being on the podium,” team owner Wayne Taylor said. “Clearly, our team put Jordan in the lead with our strategy and our pit stops. And then, being 6 mph too slow in the straights, we didn’t have a chance to hold onto our brief lead at the end there, much less a podium position. Still, our guys did a great job putting us in the lead, and thanks to Konica Minolta, Cadillac and all our tremendous supporters. It’s on to the next one next week.”

Round seven on the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar is next weekend’s Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. FS1’s same-day-delayed race broadcast Sunday begins at 4 p.m. EDT.