Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia finished second to Porsche in Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech race from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, securing the 2020 IMSA GT Le Mans driver’s championship in the process.
Taylor started from pole in the No. 3 Corvette C8.R and led the first 16 laps before getting passed by the No. 912 Porsche of Laurens Vanthoor. Taylor then came into the pits for the first of the No. 3 team’s three pit stops, with the dusty Laguna Seca circuit causing higher-than-expected tire wear throughout the two hour and 40-minute race. The No. 912 Porsche, meanwhile, was able to make a two-stop strategy work and retained track position after pitting thanks to quick work in the pits from the Core Autosport Porsche crew.
Earl Bamber led the race in the No. 912 Porsche when the only caution of the race bunched up the field with 25 minutes remaining, giving Garcia a chance to attack Earl Bamber on the restart. Bamber came out on top in the 19-minute sprint to the finish, however, taking the chequered flag 0.981 seconds ahead of Garcia to secure Porsche’s second-straight IMSA GTLM victory. While Taylor and Garcia would have preferred to win, the pair believed they did all they could with the relatively new C8.R, which the team is still learning more about each week in its debut season.
“Today was a good race, and we maximized everything we had,” Garcia said. “We lost track position to the 912 at the start, and it was tough to get that back.”
“The safety car mixed things up a little bit and it gave me a chance to get closer, but they were able to open up the gap a little bit,” he added. “The pace was very fast, and I couldn’t use the traffic in my favor. I pressured as much as I could, but they didn’t make any mistakes.”
The No. 4 Corvette C8.R of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin ran a solid race to take the final podium position, but were demoted to sixth place in GTLM after IMSA found a problem with the No. 4 car’s diffuser height.
The IMSA WeatherTech Championship will wrap up with the 12 Hours of Sebring on November 13th, which was rescheduled from earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team is currently locked in a battle with BMW for the IMSA GTLM manufacturer’s title and leads the German manufacture by 18 points.