- Team Owner Carrying On With Talented Sons Now Driving for Other Teams
- Florida Drivers Part of IMSA Prototype Challenge Race-Winning Team
- The Roar Before the Rolex 24 Test Session Wraps Up Sunday
- 58th Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Set for Jan. 25-26
Wayne Taylor, longtime owner of the sports car team that bears his name, is trying to plot a successful defense of the 2019 Rolex 24 At DAYTONA championship. When the famed endurance classic is run for the 58th time at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 25-26, Taylor will have more than the usual puzzles to solve.
Taylor – also a Rolex 24 champion as a driver in his younger days – is now fielding a team without both of his hot-shoe sons, Jordan and Ricky Taylor, in the driver lineup. Jordan has departed Wayne Taylor Racing for the legendary GT organization Corvette Racing. His exit was prefaced last year when Ricky joined Roger Penske’s IMSA outfit.
“We got rid of our weak link, with Jordan,” Wayne Taylor joked at the outset of a press conference Saturday, the second day of “The Roar Before the Rolex 24” test sessions. “Now I’ll be racing against my two sons which will be great. So I’ll have to get the guys to figure a way to take them out [of the race.]”
Wayne Taylor Racing, which also won the Rolex 24 in 2017, will field the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi with a driver lineup consisting of returnees Renger van der Zande and Kamui Kobayashi joined by two former Chip Ganassi Racing drivers, Ryan Briscoe and 2008 Indianapolis 500 champion Scott Dixon.
“The driver lineup,” Wayne Taylor said, “is as good as or better than last year.”
The three-day Roar allows teams in four IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship classes – Daytona Prototype international (DPi), Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2), GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) – to prepare for the Rolex 24, which opens the WeatherTech Championship season. Teams in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge production-based series are also prepping for the season-opening BMW Endurance Challenge on Jan. 24 at DIS.
In addition, the Roar features qualifying sessions to determine pit road and garage stalls for the Rolex 24. On Saturday, LMP2 and GTD teams qualified; Sunday, DPi and GTLM will qualify.
Saturday, Ben Keating topped LMP2 qualifying in the No. 52 Oreca LMP2 07 with a fast lap of 1 minute, 38.056 seconds (103.694 mph). Frankie Montecalvo led GTD in the No. 12 Lexus RC-F GT3 (1:46.754/120.046).
In recent years, IMSA has added the season-opening race for the IMSA Prototype Challenge to the Roar schedule, giving the support series the honor of having the first official race of the IMSA season – and the first official race of the year at Daytona International Speedway. The No. 47 Norma M30 prototype of Forty7 Motorsports won the three-hour event with co-drivers Joel Janco of Key Largo, Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter and Brazilian JJ Jorge.
The Roar resumes Sunday at 9 a.m. The last two Rolex 24 testing sessions of the weekend are set for 10:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. DPi and GTLM qualifying runs from 11:50 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Tickets for The Roar Before the Rolex 24, the 58th Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, the 62nd annual DAYTONA 500 and other Daytona International Speedway events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest Speedway news throughout the season.