Wayne Taylor Racing, competing in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship Prototype class, had a difficult challenge after a penalty following the season opener, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, but are back in the running ahead of this weekend’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor were awarded a penalty after the 24 hour race at Daytona International Speedway in January, for exceeding maximum drive time, and so left round one 16th in the points standings.
Heading into the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the Floridian duo had an uphill battle, but after some skilful driving and teamwork in the 12 hour challenge, they finished 2nd in their #10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP.
Last weekend, they dominated the Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach, and won after leading 73 of 78 laps.
“We’ve found a lot of speed for this season and we’ve been ultra-competitive every race so far,” Jordan Taylor said. “That bodes well for us with what I feel is the best team in terms of strategy and execution in the pits. That got us in championship contention last year when we didn’t have the fastest car everywhere we went. So, this year, we just have to stay clean and not let mistakes get the better of us. I think we have a serious shot at the championship if we can do that.”
Currently leading the points standings after three races are Daytona winners, Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi in the #5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP, with 96 points. Three points behind them is the #90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP, driven by Michael Valiante and Richard Westbrook. Third are Scott Pruett and Joey Hand with 86 points in the #01 Ford EcoBoost/Riley. The Taylor brothers are tied for 4th in the standings with Eric Curran and Dane Cameron‘s #31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP with 85 points each. Therefore, Wayne Taylor Racing is only 11 points behind the leaders.
“Eleven points with seven races to go doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can be,” Ricky Taylor said. “We made up six points on the Action Express (No. 5) car at Long Beach and that helped, for sure. That team has been solid ever since the beginning of last year and we are the team that has managed to stay closest to them in terms of results from race-to-race. We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing and hope the points work out in our favor at the end.”
Last year at Laguna Seca, they finished 2nd in the two-hour race for the Prototype and Prototype Challenge classes. This weekend, though, the format will be different, with a 2h40 race in which all four classes will race, meaning that traffic from the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona cars will be another issue on this historic Californian circuit.
The race starts at 13:05 local time on Sunday, and 21:05 in the UK. It will consist of a grid of 38 entries across all four USCC classes.