Cooper and Jordan Taylor third, O’Connell and Ricky Taylor fifth
Tooele, Utah – Cadillac V-Performance drivers Michael Cooper (Syosset, N.Y) and Jordan Taylor (Apopka, Fla.) finished third today in race two at the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) SprintX Championship at Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC). Teammates Johnny O’Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) and Ricky Taylor (Lake Mary, Fla.) came to the checker in fifth.
PWC SprintX rules have the drivers who finished race one start race two. O’Connell lined up the No. 3 Velocity Red Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe on the second row in fourth and Jordan Taylor started the No. 8 Vector Blue Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe from the fourth row in eighth.
At the drop of the green O’Connell raced hard into Turn 1 and moved up to fifth with Jordan Taylor settling into ninth. On lap two O’Connell moved into third in class and the younger Taylor also moved up a position into eighth. The two Cadillac ATS-V.R cars pitted 31-minutes into the 60-minute race. Soon after, 36-minutes in, the races first caution flew with Ricky Taylor in fourth and Michael Cooper in fifth. On the restart, with debris on his tires, Ricky Taylor was forced to give-up a position into Turn 1 and also had contact with the No. 9 McLaren. Then at the 46-minute mark a second full course caution flew. With just three-minutes remaining the race went green. Michael Cooper was able to drive his No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R by his nemesis in the championship, Patrick Long (No. 58 Porsche), for third. Ricky Taylor was able to help the championship hopes of Cooper by putting the Porsche behind him as well at the finish and taking fifth place with the 58 coming sixth.
“It was exciting at the end,” Cooper said. “I was way up on the wheel and in attack mode. We just can’t keep losing points to these guys. I think we extended our SprintX points lead today. Jordan did a good job all weekend. The restarts really helped us to make-up track position and allowed me to put the 58 Porsche behind me in the last two laps.”
“My stint wasn’t the most exciting,” Jordan Taylor said. “I got out dragged at the start. We were starting behind some of the Pro/Am cars with the Pro drivers in them. They were taking some risks, so it didn’t make sense to battle them. Once we got through the first lap I kind of settled in. Michael did a great job on the restarts to get us on the podium. It was a great weekend for SprintX points for Michael and myself and for Cadillac.”
“Another good weekend for Cadillac,” Ricky Taylor said. “I messed up that first restart, otherwise I thought we would have had a good shot at the podium. It was a good run for Michael and Jordan. I was able to help the cause a little putting the 58 Porsche behind me. It was a good points day for them for sure. Very exciting racing in those last two restarts. Looking forward to supporting Cadillac for the championship at COTA in a few weeks.”
“I was very pleased with my stint,” O’Connell said. “The first couple of laps were fun. I thought I was going to be able to get into second as a couple guys went high into Turn 1 and then the Acura came back on me real hard. I had the Mercedes amateur car of Jeroen Bleekemolen behind me and I let him go. He went by the Acura and that allowed me to get by them as well. I got some pressure from the Porsche at the start of my run, but him behind. When the pits were open I had two back-markers battling each other and I got held up a little. It was a risk reward deal. Ricky drove well there at the end so a positive day for us.”
The race action from Utah Motorsports Campus will be broadcast on Sunday, August 20 at 2:30 p.m. ET on the CBS Sports Network.
The PWC series will travel to the Circuit of the Americas, September 1-3 for three races in the SprintX format. One is a make-up from the rain out at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in May.