Wayne Taylor admits to being sad that his son Ricky Taylor is no longer a part of his team, but he believes his replacement Renger van der Zande is a more than capable replacement.
Ricky Taylor has made the switch to Team Penske for 2018, but van der Zande has made the switch from VisitFlorida Racing to join Ricky’s brother Jordan for a full-season assault on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, while former Verizon IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will join them for the endurance events, starting with this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Wayne Taylor Racing won the Rolex 24 in 2017 and then went on to take the overall Prototype title, and team owner Wayne Taylor says he has the drivers to be able to have another strong campaign in 2018.
“First of all, I’m excited to be representing Konica Minolta and Cadillac again,” said Taylor. “As a father and the team owner, it’s sad to not have both Ricky and Jordan in the car again together, but we replaced Ricky with a really good guy in Renger van der Zande, who won a big race last year and has fit in really well.
“We’ve got Ryan for the 24-hour and two other endurance races this season, and he’s certainly going to help us try and pick up where we left off last year.”
Taylor says the huge field of Prototype entrants is exciting to see, and it is great for the fans of the series to see just how the championship has grown in popularity in recent years.
“This is the biggest Prototype field I’ve seen, ever, at the 24-hour, and it’s definitely going to be the most competitive,” said Taylor.
“That’s exciting for us as a team, for our sponsors and fans, for everyone who loves this sport and has seen it grow the way it has the last several years.”
Despite winning the race in 2017, Taylor says the pressure is still on the team to succeed again, and he insists they are always eager to prove themselves on the race track, and they will be doing everything they can to win again this year.
“People ask if the pressure might be off a little bit after we finally won this race last year, but let me say that’s definitely not the case with this team,” said Taylor. “Anyone who knows us knows each race is the next chance to go out and perform at our best and do everything we can to bring home another win.
“That is our business as usual and that’s how you win races and championships. There’s no reason, ever, to not give it absolutely everything you have.”