Although the weekend’s three races were fraught with challenges for the drivers and Cadillac Racing team, the consistent finishes, including a win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and seven top five finishes clinched the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Driver Championship for Cooper and Jordan Taylor.
The weekend at COTA was mixed for the duo. On Friday night they had a make-up race from a rained out Canadian Tire Motorsport Park event in May. They were able to finish fourth. On Saturday, the pair drove to a sixth place finish and in today’s race they had to rely on their yearlong consistency as their race ended on the first lap when Jordan Taylor was collected in crash and the team could not make repairs in time to have them rejoin the race.
“This is my third Pirelli World Challenge championship,” Cooper said. “This is from tons of hard work by the Cadillac Racing team. This year kicked off in Virginia with a battery failure. The team was able to get it changed and we went back out on the lead lap and we came back to finish on the podium that day. It was amazing. It was good consistent driving by Jordan and myself all year that made all of the difference. We never had the overall fastest car, just great team work and keeping the Cadillac on track.”
For Jordan Taylor it is his second professional driver championship.
“This is my first GT championship to go along with my Grand-Am Prototype type championship,” Jordan Taylor said. “It was under tough circumstances today, thankfully we built up enough points where it didn’t matter. Michael and I, I think, drove very well together all year. We liked a similar set-up in the car and in this type of racing synergy that wins championships. We may have not had the fastest car, but the team’s great preparation and the consistent results accomplished by no mistakes and failures makes it a great season. We are happy to win it for everyone at Cadillac.”
“What a season,” said, Rich Brekus, Global Director, Product Strategy at Cadillac. “Michael and Jordan contributed great drives in the Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe. The Cadillac LF4.R twin-turbocharged V6 ran flawlessly all year and the team put competitive cars on track every weekend. This a testament to team work, focus and passionate execution by everyone.”
“While we wanted to be able to take the checker flag at this last Sprint X race for the championship win, we are proud we had collected enough points to still come out on top despite the circumstances,” Laura Klauser, Cadillac ATS-V.R Program Manager said. “This championship belongs to the whole team. Flawless execution from everyone in the many different scenarios each Sprint X race presented is what got us to this point. We’ll be celebrating after Sonoma as we are all focused on the overall driver championship for Michael.”
Johnny O’Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) and Ricky Taylor (Lake Mary, Fla.) drove the No. 3 Velocity Red Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe to a seventh place finish in today’s race. O’Connell was also caught up in the first lap incident and dropped down to 20th place from his sixth place starting position. Ricky Taylor took over 33-minutes into the race and was able to drive it back up to seventh at the checker.
“In the SprintX races you are running against guys who are you not used to competing with,” O’Connell said. “The Ferrari got sideways and everyone had to check-up. I got hit in the back and Jordan got the worst of it when the Ferrari rolled into him. It was a challenging weekend with the heat and our tire wear. I am proud of the way the team executed and the way Ricky drove today. Congratulations to Michael and Jordan on winning the SprintX championship.”
“It was a good stint,” Ricky Taylor said. “We had the bad luck with the eight car. Johnny was able to give me the car in good condition after he was hit in the incident. We were able to get by some cars on the driver change. I had a good battle with Brian Sellers in the McLaren, so a seventh place finish after dropping to 20th is not bad. It was great that Jordan and Michael were able to win the championship today for Cadillac.”
The Pirelli World Challenge Series will travel to Sonoma Raceway for the final race of the season, September 15-17.
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing