Ricky Taylor Takes Cadillac to PWC SprintX Pole Position Saturday in Grand Prix of Texas at COTA

It takes Taylor just two laps to win the SprintX Round 9 pole

AUSTIN, Texas – Ricky Taylor of Apopka, Fla., made quick work Saturday in winning the Pirelli World Challenge Round 9 pole position in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R. in the Grand Prix of Texas at Circuit of the Americas.

Taylor, winner of this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, clocked the pole time of two minutes, 5.742 seconds (98.22 miles per hour) in just his second lap Saturday to win the pole for Saturday afternoon’s 60-minute, two-driver GT event at COTA. Taylor, teaming with four-time PWC GT champion Johnny O’Connell, then held off the challenge of two-time SprintX race winner Daniel Mancinelli of Italy but two-thousands of a second.

Mancinelli, who co-drives with Niccolo Schiro also of Italy, drove the No. 31 TR3 Racing/The Collection Ferrari 488 GT3 to a time of 2:05.763 (98.20 m.p.h.) to start on the outside of the front row for Saturday’s Round 9 contest which starts at 4 p.m. CDT.

“I put in the time on our first flying lap,” Ricky Taylor said. “That is the tale of our weekend really. We have to get the time out of the tires on the very first lap and then with the weight of our Cadillac they really drop off. You could see that the other cars were still getting faster as the session went on. The race is going to be tough as it gets hotter and hotter out. This is the maximum for the moment. We will try and control the race, but it is going to be very hard on our tires.”

Third on the 32-car field was CTMP SprintX winner Michael Cooper of Syosset, N.Y., in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R. with a 2:06.050 (97.98 m.p.h.). Cooper, currently second in the PWC GT overall points, will co-drive Saturday with Jordan Taylor of Orlando, Fla.

Rounding out the top-five positions in SprintX qualifying were reigning GT series champion Alvaro Parente of Portugal (co-driver is Ben Barnicoat of England) in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S at 2:06.067 (97.97 m.p.h.) and Daniel Morad of Canada (co-driver is Ryan Dalziel of Scotland) in the No. 2 CRP Racing/DeVilbiss Mercedes-AMG GT3 at 2:06.094 (97.95 m.p.h.).

Friday’s Round 4 Pro/Pro winner Patrick Long of Manhattan Beach, Calif., will start sixth Saturday in the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R with his long-time teammate Jorg Bergmeister of Germany. Long clocked a 2:06.098 (97.94 m.p.h.) in Saturday’s qualifying.

In the Pro/Am division, former GTA series champion Frankie Montecalvo of Highlands, N.J., piloted the No. 75 Always Evolving/AIM Autosport Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 to the pole position with a 2:06.873 (97.34 m.p.h.) over Friday’s Round 4 winner James Sofronas of Villa Park, Calif., in the No. 14 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R. Montecarlo will team with Ricardo Sanchez of Mexico in Saturday’s SprintX 60-minute race, whiel Sofronas will co-driver with Mathieu Jaminet of France.

In the GT Am/Am category, Friday’s SprintX winning pair of Henrique Cisneros of Miami, Fla., and Peter Ludwig of New Paltz, N.Y., captured the pole in the No. 30 MOMO/NGT Motorsports Ferrari 458 GT3 at 2:09.003 (95.74 m.p.h.)

Results from the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Texas at COTA Qualifying session for SprintX Rd.9. Results are provisional until posted final.

Pos,PIC,Class,Name,Hometown,Car,Laps,Status,Fastest Lap Time,Fastest Lap Avg. Speed
1,1, Pro/Pro,Cadillac Racing,,Cadillac ATS-V.R,4,Not Running,2:05.742,98.2
2,2, Pro/Pro,TR3 Racing,,Ferrari 488 GT3,7,Not Running,2:05.763,98.2
3,3, Pro/Pro,Cadillac Racing,,Cadillac ATS-V.R,5,Not Running,2:06.050,97.9
4,4, Pro/Pro,K-PAX Racing,,McLaren 650S GT3,5,Not Running,2:06.067,97.9
5,5, Pro/Pro,CRP Racing,,Mercedes AMG GT3,7,Running,2:06.094,97.9
6,6, Pro/Pro,Wright Motorsports,,Porsche 911 GT3 R,5,Not Running,2:06.098,97.9
7,7, Pro/Pro,Magnus Racing,,Audi RS 8 LMS,6,Not Running,2:06.116,97.9
8,8, Pro/Pro,Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing,,Porsche 911 GT3 R,6,Running,2:06.785,97.4
9,9, Pro/Pro,RealTime Racing,,Acura NSX GT3,5,Not Running,2:06.799,97.4
10,1, Pro/Am,Always Evolving/AIM Autosport Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3,,Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3,5,Not Running,2:06.873,97.3
11,2, Pro/Am,GMG Racing,,Porsche 911 GT3 R,5,Not Running,2:07.042,97.2
12,10, Pro/Pro,Absolute Racing,,Bentley Continental GT3,7,Not Running,2:07.193,97.1
13,11, Pro/Pro,K-PAX Racing,,McLaren 650S GT3,6,Not Running,2:07.275,97.0
14,12, Pro/Pro,RealTime Racing,,Acura NSX GT3,6,Running,2:07.532,96.8
15,3, Pro/Am,Wright Motorsports,,Porsche 911 GT3 R,6,Not Running,2:07.563,96.8
16,4, Pro/Am,Magnus Racing,,Audi RS 8 LMS,6,Not Running,2:08.508,96.1
17,5, Pro/Am,Black Swan Racing,,Mercedes AMG GT3,7,Running,2:08.624,96.0
18,1, Am/Am,MOMO/NGT Motorsports,,Ferrari 458 GT3,7,Not Running,2:09.003,95.7
19,2, Am/Am,M1GT Racing,,Audi RS-8 LMS,5,Not Running,2:09.200,95.5
20,6, Pro/Am,Calvert Dynamics,,Porsche 911 GT3 R,7,Running,2:09.786,95.1
21,3, Am/Am,De La Torre Racing,,Aston Martin Vantage GT3,6,Not Running,2:10.363,94.7
22,4, Am/Am,M1GT Racing,,Audi R8 LMS Ultra,4,Not Running,2:11.771,93.7
23,7, Pro/Am,McCann Racing,,Audi RS-8 LMS,7,Not Running,2:12.545,93.1

Pos,PIC,Class,Name,Hometown,Car,Laps,Status,Fastest Lap Time,Fastest Lap Avg. Speed
1,1, Am/Am,R3 Motorsports,,Ferrari Challenge,3,Not Running,2:11.345,94.0
2,1, Pro/Am,Dream Racing Motorsport,,Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo,4,Not Running,2:12.247,93.3
3,2, Pro/Am,Tool Racing,,Porsche 911 GT3 Cup,7,Not Running,2:14.577,91.7
4,2, Am/Am,Autometrics Motorsports,,Porsche 911 GT3 Cup,7,Not Running,2:14.806,91.6
5,1, Am/Am,TRG,,Aston Martin Vantage GT4,3,Not Running,2:18.245,89.3
6,2, Am/Am,TRG-AMR,,Aston Martin Vantage GT4,4,Not Running,2:19.803,88.3
7,3, Am/Am,Stephen Cameron Racing,,BMW M3 E46,7,Not Running,2:21.213,87.4
8,1, Pro/Am,Case-it Racing,,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,6,Running,2:22.789,86.4
9,4, Am/Am,NOLAsport,,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,6,Not Running,2:23.100,86.3