Taylor, Miller, No. 17 Audi Collect Fourth Win of Season

June 22, 2024

By John Oreovicz and David Phillips IMSA Wire Service

Mikey Taylor enjoyed a bird’s eye view of the tussle for the lead of the Touring Car (TCR) class between Robert Wickens’ No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N TCR and Jon Morley’s No. 61 Road Shagger Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR in the closing stages of Saturday’s race. But Taylor was positively delighted by the view in the rearview mirror of the No. 17 Unitronic/JDC-Miller Motorsports Audi the following lap, having taken the lead with a clean pass into the Inner Loop at Watkins Glen after Wickens firmly rebuffed Morley’s bold overtaking effort at the same point the previous lap.

“That was a tough move,” Taylor said of Morley’s unsuccessful passing attempt. “But as competitive as TCR is these days, when you have a sniff at an overtake you’ve got to go for it. I thought they were both going to go around and retire, but the Hyundai is pretty robust. That’s TCR for you: it’s tight, close and fun racing.” 

Once out front, Taylor gradually edged away from Wickens to take the TCR win by 2.054 seconds, even as the race ended in disappointment for Morley when the Road Shagger Audi ran short of fuel two corners from the finish line. Morley’s misfortune enabled Denis Dupont to grab the final spot in the No. 76 BHA Hyundai he shared with Preston Brown.

“We used what we had,” said Taylor. “We didn’t have much front end (tires) left and we didn’t have much fuel left. But (co-driver) Chris (Miller) did a great first stint to bring it to me, and the guys on the (pit) box – I can’t say enough – they did a great job on the strategy. At the end, it wasn’t about raw pace, it was about consistency and that’s what the Unitronic/JDC-Miller Audi is: It’s consistent.”  

Taylor and Miller are becoming quite accustomed to seeing the TCR field in their mirrors. This was their fourth win in five Michelin Pilot Challenge races so far this year and represents a rebound from the race at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago that saw the No. 17 Audi finish third.

“They’re all difficult,” Miller said, “and this is just one step closer to our goal. I’m just super proud of the team. The guys have been doing an amazing job and, honestly, it’s due to them that we’re on this run. Mikey and I are just trying to bring the car home in one piece. They’re calling great strategy, doing great pit stops and we’re picking ‘em up and putting them down.”

The result boosted the No. 17 Unitronic/JDC-Motorsports Audi to a commanding 220-point lead over the No. 76 BHA Hyundai as the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competitors head north to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in three weeks.