2019 Detroit Pre Race Report

Fresh off a track where the drivers and team still have yet to score a victory to one where they’ve enjoyed more recent success than anywhere else, the duo of Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande and their No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R teammates are more than ready to hit the streets of The Motor City for Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

2019 Detroit Pre Race Report


DETROIT (May 28, 2019) – Fresh off a track where the drivers and team still have yet to score a victory to one where they’ve enjoyed more recent success than anywhere else, the duo of Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande and their No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R teammates are more than ready to hit the streets of The Motor City for Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

Despite their sixth-place finish at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington earlier this month on a weekend where they struggled to find race-winning speed, Taylor, van der Zande and company are still very much in the thick of the 2019 championship battle as they arrive at the 2.36-mile, 13-turn Streets of Belle Isle circuit just a stone’s throw from downtown Detroit, where the No. 10 won four times in five tries from 2013 to 2017.

Just seven points separate the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team from first place in the standings as the series heads to its fifth of 10 races this season, and a return to its winning ways in the home race for partners Cadillac and General Motors would certainly go a long way toward its hopes of securing a second championship in three years over the second half of the schedule.

Those hopes are certainly in capable hands starting with Taylor, who’s tied with retired veteran Johnny O’Connell as the winningest driver in Belle Isle history with five victories apiece. Taylor first won the GT class of this event in 2012, co-driving the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Camaro GT.R with Paul Edwards. He joined Italian veteran and co-team owner Max “The Ax” Angelelli behind the wheel of the No. 10 Prototype the following year for his second consecutive victory – this time overall – before winning three more times in the next four visits co-driving with his older brother Ricky Taylor. Those victories came in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

This weekend, Taylor and van der Zande look to rebound from last year’s uncharacteristic fifth-place finish at Belle Isle with a much-needed return to the top step of the podium. After last year’s thrilling victory at the season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta alongside third driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, they picked up right where they left off with another thrilling victory at this year’s season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona alongside Formula One veteran Fernando Alonso and former Formula One and current FIA World Endurance Championship star Kamui Kobayashi. That was followed by a hard-earned runner-up finish at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring alongside third driver Matthieu Vaxivière of France, and the feeling was the team had some serious championship momentum.

A 10th-place result on the Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.) street circuit after an early race accident and the struggle to finish sixth at Mid-Ohio certainly left Taylor, van der Zande and the team street-fighting mad and looking forward more than ever to their return to Detroit.

Practice for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix begins Friday morning with DPi-class qualifying set for 5:45 p.m. EDT with live streaming video via IMSA.tv and the IMSA Mobile App beginning at 5:100 p.m. The green flag for Saturday’s one-hour, 40-minute race is at 12:40 p.m. with live television coverage by NBCSN set for 12:30 p.m. Live timing and scoring during all on-track sessions is available at IMSA.com and via the IMSA smartphone app.

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

Safe to say you’re feeling good about heading to a track where the team has had great success the last six years, or is last year’s fifth-place finish weighing more on your minds? Your overall thoughts heading into the weekend?

“I always look forward to going to back to Detroit. I think no matter the event, if you’ve had success there in the past, it feels good to be back there. Our team has a great history there and also at Long Beach, which is also a 100-minute, street-course race. It’s the type of event that caters to our team. You have to come in with good preparation, as there is not much practice time, and then you have to execute on all levels to have a good result. Since it is such a compact weekend, any little mistake or weakness shows up.”

It was a struggle to find speed on the natural road course at Mid-Ohio. Are you expecting things to be better on the street circuit this weekend? Any parts of the track that are particularly suited to the car?

“I think we’ll be back to where we want to be in Detroit. We knew Mid-Ohio was going to be a struggle, just like it was last year. Detroit is a track that suits our car a bit better and we have been doing a lot of homework to be stronger there than last year. We just have the GTD field there with us, so that’ll make the pace of the race a bit different to what we’ve had already this year.”

Thoughts about the championship? Despite the sixth-place finish at Mid-Ohio, you actually moved from fourth to third in the points, and that seems to bode well for the rest of the season.

“We’re still in a strong position in the championship, but we need to stay on top of the results, we need to get back to regularly being on the podium. We’re coming into the middle of the season where there are a lot of important races, so we need to make sure we’re ready to maximize the points when we can.”

RENGER VAN DER ZANDE, driver, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R:

Safe to say you’re feeling good about heading to a track where the team has had great success the last six years, or is last year’s fifth-place finish weighing more on your minds? Your overall thoughts heading into the weekend?

“I’m looking forward to Detroit. It’s a track where, in the past, I did well, myself, even before joining the Konica Minolta Cadillac team. I think last year we struggled a bit with the car but, I think coming back this year we know a lot more, we have a lot more information and have a better starting point. We hope everything works out the way we think it’s going to work out, and that means we should be competitive.”

It was a struggle to find speed on the natural road course at Mid-Ohio. Are you expecting things to be better on the street circuit this weekend? Any parts of the track that are particularly suited to the car?

“Looking back at Mid-Ohio, we struggled there a bit, but we also knew it wasn’t the greatest track in the world for our car. I think, with that said, it’s nice that it’s behind us and we head to Detroit, which is a GM track. The team has done great there in the past, I’ve done well, so it’ll be nice to get back. I like that track. It’s always cool to be on a street track. It’s always special. Let’s just work hard to do well there this weekend.”

Thoughts about the championship? Despite the sixth-place finish at Mid-Ohio, you actually moved from fourth to third in the points, and that seems to bode well for the rest of the season.

“I always look at the championship but you can’t race to it too much. At the end, you want to win races. Winning races is much more fun. With that comes the championship. Let’s first find out how to be the quickest car on the track and then we’ll take it from there towards being smart for the championship. It’s great that we’re third. We lost out on a few points so we’re not in first right now.”

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

Your overall thoughts as you head back to Detroit, one of your most successful tracks in team history?

“We absolutely love having the opportunity to race at Detroit, which is the home race for Cadillac and our longtime partner GM, and the results have pretty much proven that. Long Beach is a very important race for our partner Konica Minolta and we were absolutely ecstatic to be able to win there three times in a row for them after finishing second the first year (2013), when we announced our primary sponsorship with them there. Likewise, winning four times in the last six races at Detroit at the most important race for GM is huge for us. We would have liked to have four or five wins in a row there but things didn’t go our way that one year (2015), and last year. Everyone on the team is ready to get back to winning again this weekend. We need to go out and do what we know how to do and just make it happen, to find a way. Like always, our eyes are on the bigger prize of winning the championship, so earning maximum points each weekend is what we have to do from now until season’s end. We’re in a good position as far as that goes, so we just have to maximize every opportunity from this point forward.”