MONTEREY, Calif. – Jordan Taylor shattered his brother’s year-old track record at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca en route to taking the Motul Pole Award in qualifying for Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute America’s Tire 250.
Driving the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, Taylor posted a best time of one minute, 16.181 seconds (105.758 mph) around the 2.238-mile permanent road circuit to take the top starting spot. It bested the previous WeatherTech Championship Prototype record of 1:16.853 (104.8 mph) set by Ricky Taylor in qualifying here last year in the No. 10 Cadillac.
It was Taylor’s 10th career IMSA pole (eight Grand-Am, two WeatherTech Championship) and his first since taking the pole at WeatherTech Raceway in 2015. Most importantly, it gives Taylor and co-driver Renger van der Zande a leg up on their competition for the 2018 WeatherTech Championship Prototype title.
They go into Sunday’s race fourth in the Prototype standings, but just 12 behind current co-leaders Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi.
“It was obviously good to get the pole,” said Jordan Taylor. “We’ve had a good season. Looking at the championship, we’ve had a top five every race except for Daytona. From a success rate we haven’t had a win yet.
“Renger had the pole at Daytona which was huge, so it’s good to get back to that trend here. We’re 12 points back in the championship. It seems like we have a little bit more of a handle on our car than Action Express, which is our main goal this weekend. It’s our goal to gain points.”
Dane Cameron will start alongside Taylor on the front row. Cameron posted a best time of 1:16.576 (105.212 mph) in the No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi car he shares with Juan Pablo Montoya. Cameron is looking to avenge last year’s late-race pass for the victory by van der Zande when both were driving different cars than they are this season.
Helio Castroneves made it two Acura DPis in the top three with a third-best result in the No. 7 machine he shares with Ricky Taylor. Castroneves’ best lap was a 1:16.662 (105.094 mph). Pipo Derani qualified fourth in the No. 22 Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan DPi at 1:16.766 (104.952 mph), and Colin Braun completed the top five with a lap of 1:16.774 (104.941 mph) in the No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA LMP2 machine.
Braun and co-driver Jon Bennett are currently third in the Prototype championship standings, 10 points behind the leaders. They’re looking for their third consecutive victory on Sunday.
Curran qualified the No. 31 Cadillac ninth with a lap of 1:17.415 (104.072 mph), while his Action Express Racing teammate, Joao Barbosa qualified 11th in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi with a lap of 1:17.525 (103.924 mph). Barbosa’s co-driver, Filipe Albuquerque, is currently second in the Prototype standings, trailing Curran and Nasr by seven points.