No. 3 Corvette Teammates Taylor and Garcia Take ‘Special’ Win at VIR
ALTON, Va. (August 27, 2023) – Expect the unexpected.
The old expression worked Sunday for Jordan Taylor, who found himself in the lead when his closest competitor encountered trouble in the pits, then deftly saved fuel for nearly an hour to take the GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) class and overall win in the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR.
Taylor was trailing Ben Barnicoat with 56 minutes remaining in the two-hour, 40-minute IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race when Barnicoat’s No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 stalled in the pits. Taylor took the lead and never relinquished it, eventually getting the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R GTD to the finish line 2.068 seconds ahead of Barnicoat.
“This has to be one of the most special races I’ll ever have,” said Taylor, who recently announced plans to leave Corvette Racing at the end of this season and rejoin his father’s Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) team in 2024. “Amazing race, amazing victory.”
When he left the pits, Barnicoat felt the Lexus lurch and stall. He quickly got going again, but by then Taylor had taken the lead.
“The team did a great job to get us a race-winning car,” Barnicoat said. “Sadly, I made a mistake and stalled it on the pit stop. I apologize to the team for that. … It happens sometimes.”
When told it happens to the best of them, Barnicoat replied, “Well, not really.”
Once Taylor passed Barnicoat, his assignment turned to saving fuel.
“It was just down to saving fuel and managing tires and managing the gap,” Taylor said. “I was counting down the laps with about 25 to go. I was very happy to see that checkered flag.”
The precise driving even impressed his teammate.
“Jordan did an amazing job today,” co-driver Antonio Garcia said. “He was like a Swiss watch.”
The victory helped Taylor and Garcia close on Barnicoat and co-driver Jack Hawksworth, who now lead the GTD PRO standings by 144 points with two races remaining in the WeatherTech Championship season.
“It was a decent day,” Barnicoat said. “We’re still leading the points, which is the main thing right now.”
Klaus Bachler brought the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) he co-drove with Patrick Pilet home third in GTD PRO and 12th overall. Alex Riberas, who went off course late in the race, held on for fourth place in class and 15th overall in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 he co-drove with Ross Gunn.
Daniel Juncadella and Jules Gounon rounded out the class in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3.
With its second victory, Corvette Racing became the fourth team to win multiple races this season in GTD PRO. Taylor scored the 33rd victory of his career, Garcia the 29th.
The WeatherTech Championship resumes with all five classes racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the TireRack.com Battle on the Bricks from Sept. 15-17.