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Charles Bradley

Corvette snaps IMSA win drought as Lexus podium streak ends

Just hours after Nicky Catsburg, Ben Keating and Nico Varrone claimed the final WEC GTE Am title at Monza, Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia won IMSA’s GTD Pro class at the track formerly known as Mosport.

The victory in Canada was the first for the Pratt Miller-run team in IMSA competition since March 2022, a drought that stretched for 13 races. Before its slump, Corvette had won five of the previous seven championships in IMSA’s GT classes and this was its 114th win in the series.

The victory came after class leaders Patrick Pilet (Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911) and Ben Barnicoat (Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F) clashed at Turn 1 following a restart, opening the door for Garcia to sweep ahead.

“We made some good strategy calls early in the race and jumped two of the guys,” said Taylor, who recorded his 32nd career IMSA victory. “Antonio just stayed out of trouble on that last restart and just drove it to the finish.

“It’s great to be back in victory lane. It’s a classic Corvette victory. Hopefully this will kind of kick-start the second half of the year for us.”

Garcia added: “We deserved this win for a long time. We came so close many times. We were really struggling for pace at most of the races.

“Happy for Jordan too, finally, we got what we deserved. We just drove a perfect race.”

#14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3: Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat (Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images)

Barnicoat and co-driver Jack Hawksworth continue to lead the GTD Pro standings with 2,110 points, while Garcia and Taylor closed to within 109 of the lead with five races remaining.

“That first yellow – when we pitted and I jumped in the car – it came at the wrong time for our strategy, which meant the [Porsche] jumped us for the lead,” rued Barnicoat. “On the restart, I had a good run, and I felt like my move was good.

“I had just kind of cleared the front of him before he made contact with the side of me and pushed us both off track. Sadly, we got a radiator puncture from that.

“IMSA racing is hard, and I maybe put myself in a little bit of a vulnerable position, but at the same time he definitely helped me on my way off the track.”

Although the car did return to the track following repairs to the radiator, it was classified fourth and breaks an IMSA podium-finishing streak that dates back 16 months for Barnicoat and nine races for the pairing, as Hawksworth missed races through injury last year.

“My apologies to all the Vasser Sullivan guys,” Barnicoat added. “Our team did a great job up until that point and I probably could’ve avoided that incident.

“But at the same time, I was going for a win, and we all love winning here.”

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