Photo by Gary Gold
Click here for the Saturday photos by Greg Clark and Casey Keil.
When it comes to Daytona Prototype racing at Lime Rock Park, there are just two names you have to know, now and forever:
Taylor and Angelelli.
Grand-Am’s Rolex Sports Car Series has been to Lime Rock three times prior to today. This year was the fourth and final time, as Grand-Am/ALMS becomes the Tudor United Sports Car Championship as of right now.
The first Daytona Prototype race at Lime Rock, in 2010, was won by Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR), driven by Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor, Wayne's oldest son (he was 21 at the time). The second DP race here was won by WTR, again Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor winning. In 2012, the third DP race at... well, you can guess, right? WTR with Max and Ricky.
Today, Wayne Taylor Racing’s Velocity Worldwide/Toshiba/Chevrolet Corvette DP won its fourth consecutive Lime Rock Grand-Am race, driven by Angelelli and Jordan Taylor, Wayne’s other, and youngest (22) son.
But Wait, There’s More (apologies to AutoWeek)... Eight years ago, Wayne Taylor was both the team owner and one of its drivers. Guess who his co-driver was when WTR won the driver’s title in 2005? Max the Axe, of course.
Remarkable. And very cool.
Angelelli, who had qualified the Corvette DP fifth, took the first stint and handed the car to Taylor an hour later, who re-joined fifth. With an hour to go in the 2:45 race, Taylor took the lead back when Gustavo Yacaman (Michael Shank Racing Aero/Tuvacol Ford-Riley) pitted for fuel. Despite two full-course caution periods that allowed Yacaman to close up, each time Taylor did a Vettel and broke away to big leads on each re-start and cruised home to the win.
In the GT class, Eric Curran of Holyoke, Mass., who’s been racing at Lime Rock since he was a teen, took over from co-driver Lawson Aschenbach at the halfway point and drove their Whelen Engineering (a Connecticut company) Chevy Corvette to the win over the Ferrari 458 of Leh Keen and Alex Balzan, the second place finish being more than enough to clinch the Grand-Am GT driver’s title for Balzan.
In today’s first race, the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Grand Sport Division, it was like the old pony car wars, as a Mustang beat a Camaro. Billy Johnson and Jack Roush, Jr. – yes, that Roush’s son – drove their Boss 302R to the win over John Edwards and Matt Bell in a Camaro GS.R. Great stuff. (On Friday, Mike LaMarra and Terry Borcheller won the Conti Tire ST crow with a fifth-place finish in their BMW 128i in a dramatically won race by Joel Miller and Tristen Nunez in their Mazda Miata.)
So there you have it, a history making day as a very large crowd of Lime Rock fans witnessed the last ever Grand-Am race, the crowning of its last champions, and the end of an era... and beginning next year, the start of a new one.
By the way, look for an announcement of our upcoming 2014 races in the near future.