Corvettes Dominate Mid-Ohio Diamond Cellar Classic
On Friday, June 14th, Grand-Am Racing hit the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio for the seventh race of the season, but while there were many manufacturers entered in the competition, the Corvette teams left little room for the success of other brands over the weekend. With names like Jordan Taylor, Joao Barbosa and Michael Valiante all leading teams of Corvette Daytona Prototypes, this should come as no surprise, but it was the grace and style with which Corvette conquered the Diamond Cellar Classic, according to both Racer.com and Motorsport.com, that put this particular race on the map as one of the best of the season.
Last Friday, teams from all across the country headed to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to show what their teams and manufacturers were made of at the Diamond Cellar Classic. Of course, with Corvette filling so many of the competitive positions, there were high hopes for the Chevy model, but little could have prepared racers, experts, and fans alike for Corvette’s outstanding run that weekend.
On Friday, teams took to the track for practice and qualifying rounds, immediately separating the boys from the men as Jordan Taylor of Corvette Racing led a pack of five Corvette Daytona Prototypes to top qualifying positions. In addition to the front runners all being Corvettes, the Taylor family found themselves in a similar situation, with Jordan’s brother Ricky Taylor sharing the 1-2 qualifying finish with his brother.
Jordan Taylor, who pilots the No. 10 Velocity Worldwide/Toshiba Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP (owned by father Wayne Taylor, of course), qualified first for Saturday’s race with a best qualifying-lap time of one minute and 16.947 seconds. Ricky, who races the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona’s visitflorida.com/Go Pro Corvette DP, qualified just 0.054 seconds slower.
On Saturday, with the front pack consisting of just Corvettes, the heat was on as other manufacturer-backed teams fought for top positions in the two hour and 45-minute long race. But when all was said and done, it was another two Corvettes that made a 1-2 sweep, with Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi taking the lead in their No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP. Following close behind was defending race winner Michael Valiante in the No. 3 8Star Motorsports Corvette DP.
Valiante’s co-driver and starter of the race Enzo Potolicchino added to the No. 3 Corvette team’s success and first podium position since joining Team Chevy.
While claiming the top two positions in qualifying and in competition are impressive, Corvette went well beyond that on Saturday. In the top ten finishers, six were Corvette DP cars running for the Chevy Manufacturer’s Championship. These six Corvette finishers included Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty with the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette, which took fifth place, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli with the No. 10 Velocity Worldwide/Toshiba Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette, which took sixth, Brian and Burt Frisselle with the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette, which took seventh, and Ricky Taylor and Richard Westbrook with the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona’s visitflorida.com/GoPro Corvette, which finished ninth.
Chevrolet also made strides in the Grand Touring Class with Eric Curran and Boris Said in the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette taking fourth place, and John Edwards and Robin Liddell with the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R taking tenth.
Matt Bell and John Edwards brought even more celebration to Team Chevy with a third-place finish in the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GS.R, racing in the Continental Tire Series.
In two weeks, Team Chevy will head to Watkins Glen International’s Long Course in Watkins Glen, New York for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, where teams from both the Rolex and Continental Tire Series will compete once again for bragging rights. Going into the late-June competition, Chevrolet leads the Manufacturer’s Championship with 202 points, a significant edge compared to second-place BMW with 179 points.