It’s been a difficult IMSA season for Wayne Taylor Racing. Whether it be unusual mechanical problems, tire issues, untimely full course yellows, fuel and race strategies that didn’t quite work or just plain lack of pace, the team that scored five wins on the trot and utterly dominated the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, came into the season finale at Road America looking for its first win this year.
It took all of 10 hours — make that 9 hours, 59 minutes and about 45 seconds — but the Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. finally pulled into victory lane at the conclusion of Petit Le Mans thanks to perfect fuel strategy and a late, late pass for the lead by Renger Van Der Zande.
“It’s great to finish with a win,” said Jordon Taylor, who shared the driving duties with Van Der Zande and Ryan Hunter-Reay. “It’s been a difficult season. I think we’ve shown just about every race that we have the performance to win and we’re doing everything we should do to win. But with some of the BoP changes and just some of the breaks that didn’t go our way, unfortunately it took us the whole season to get that win. But we grew as a team because of that and we learned a lot. As the saying goes, you learn more from losing than from winning; unfortunately, we learned a lot this season!”
Of course, any win is special but taking the final checkered flag of the year propels drivers and teams alike into the winter break with a little extra spring in their steps. Make that a double for Hunter-Reay, who capped off an excellent “fall” season at Petit Le Mans after scoring a dominant victory in the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Sonoma.
“This is a big one — Petit Le Mans is huge,” Hunter-Reay said. “It’s so great racing with this team. I have such a great time with them, it’s easy to come from my full-time job in IndyCar and jump in here and work with these drivers. Jordan and Renger did a fantastic job today. Renger, to finish the race like that, was outstanding. We’ve come close — we finished second at Sebring, we had a great car at Daytona before we had some issues, and this is just fantastic to finish the year like this. We went from qualifying on the pole to winning at Sonoma and to this, it’s just been a fantastic way to end the 2018 season.”