Based upon their two third place finishes at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) and the win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) just three days ago No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe drivers Michael Cooper (Syosset, N.Y) and Jordan Taylor (Apopka, Fla.) are leading the SprintX Championship standings with 65 points. Teammates in the No. 3 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe Johnny O’Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) and Ricky Taylor (Lake Mary, Fla.) are fourth with 43 points.
Lime Rock Park is a tight 1.5-mile, 7-turn circuit with all right hand turns, except for two. Lap times of the pro/pro SprintX GT3 cars will be around 52-seconds. With the SprintX racing featuring pit stops, the fast pace of the race combined with the mandatory stop and driver change will surely add another element to the racing excitement this weekend for competitors and fans.
“Coming off a strong run and a win at CTMP our momentum is high, so we’ll carry that into this weekend,” Cooper said. “Set-up at Lime Rock is always pretty unique because of all the right hand corners, so we bias the car to turn better in that direction. As we saw at CTMP the strategy is a huge part of the race. This is even more the case with a lap that’s under 60 seconds long. You can lose a lap if you get unlucky. With over 30 cars, I hope we have a yellow free race, but I don’t see that being the case with the track being so short and having a big field of cars that are really close.”
“I’ve been racing at Lime Rock since 2007,” Jordan Taylor said. “That was back in Skip Barber and on the old surface. We actually clinched the Eastern Series Championship there that year. After that, I moved to Grand-Am GT racing in 2010-2011, getting a pole in 2010 and finishing second in 2011. We didn’t go back until 2012, but in 2014 we were back in the Daytona Prototype, where we won the race and the Grand-Am Championship that year. So I definitely have some good memories and miles at Lime Rock and look forward to making some more this weekend.
“I think with all the SprintX events that there is no room for error,” he continued. “At CTMP you could go down a lap if you pitted at the wrong time, and the same can happen at Lime Rock. It’s a tough track to pass on, so limiting mistakes and having a good starting position will be key. Lime Rock is similar to CTMP where there is really no room for error. It’s a high speed track with not a whole lot of runoff, so if you make a mistake, it’s going to lead to something big. There are a lot of cars in the SprintX event, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of yellows and reds.”
O’Connell and Ricky Taylor are expecting races with a few caution periods.
“Because Lime Rock only has two left hand corners you tend to favor a set-up for that fact,” O’Connell said. “I don’t think strategy is going to change too much because Lime Rock is such a short lap, but execution of strategy will be critical. I always worry going to Lime Rock as it’s one of the most treacherous circuits we run. It will be tight racing and if the past two events are any indication, I think everybody can expect both yellow and red flags situations. Naturally I hope that’s not the case.”
“Lime Rock Park was where I had my first professional win in Daytona Prototypes in 2010, we then won there the next two years in 2011 and 2012,” Ricky Taylor said. “Jordan and Max [Angelelli] won there in 2013, but it is a place that I have very good memories and am happy that we are going back. The short laps and fast lap time will add some additional stress for the pit stop, but the fact that everyone must make the pit stop in the 10 minute window should alleviate that pressure quite quickly. I think the best strategy for that is being at the front. I think people get desperate at Lime Rock and there definitely could be more yellows. I think no matter what, qualifying will be the most important aspect of the weekend. Also, lap traffic at Lime Rock makes the racing very exciting and adds a lot more interclass passing opportunities.”
The first race of the Pirelli World Challenge weekend at Lime Rock Park will run on Friday, May 26 at 3:55 p.m. Race two will take the green flag on Saturday, May 27 at 1:20 p.m.
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing