Championship car owner and driver Wayne Taylor announced today that his 21-year old son, Jordan Taylor, would co-drive with Max Angelelli for the 2013 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car season. The pair will drive the Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype. Jordan Taylor replaces his older brother, Ricky Taylor, who has switched to the Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP for the year ahead.
Said Wayne Taylor, “It’s been an exciting time for me, given the fact that Ricky has driven for me for the last three years.” According to the proud father, his eldest son has been fielding offers for several months and once the decision was made, it left a seat open in the Taylor car, setting the stage for Jordan’s selection. However, other drivers were considered before the decision was made and also General Motors played a key role in the selection process.
To date, Jordan Taylor has excelled in the GT class, having scored two class victories and five poles along the way. He was second in the 2011 championship and won in Detroit in June. He has raced in 10 DP races, but nine of them came early in his career.
About the transition, Jordan said, “I think it will be really cool. I’m obviously excited to join the team, (to) drive with Max (Angelelli), and (to) be with my dad around the race track.” The young driver admitted he has always been hesitant to drive for his father, to offset any appearance that he had not earned the drive.
“When you look at it from the outside and the inside, my dad has this team that has won races, is capable of winning a championship, a great teammate, great crew guys and everything, so why not make the most of that opportunity, go to a place where you’re going to be in a good environment and (where) everyone is willing to help and teach you,” Jordan added.
Wayne Taylor indicated that his team had been looking ahead, to see where the team was headed beyond the current season and once it looked like Ricky would move on, the wheels were set in motion to nail-down an operational plan for 2013 and beyond. Also, they knew that SunTrust would not be returning as the primary sponsor going forward, although the banking concern will be with the team but not in the same capacity.
Jordan Taylor has been successful in driving General Motors products, including his experience as a factory driver for Corvette Racing in the American LeMans Series. In this regard, he has gained considerable experience, which the elder Taylor believes will be beneficial going forward.
Their first race together will be in the Rolex24 at Daytona three months from now. While Wayne Taylor views the 24-hour race as one of the most grueling events on the calendar, his young son sees it as an opportunity to hone his skills, as they will have the opportunity to test in November and again in early January. “By the time you get to the race, you’ve done about five days and probably 12 hours in the car, and you’ve been working with your teammate and the team throughout the whole process,” Jordan said. “Going into a big race like that is almost a better first race of the year than, say, a going to a sprint race.”
Angelelli and Taylor have been together since 1999, co-driving the car for some six years. “Max is not only been a teammate, but he’s been a very close family friend,” Wayne Taylor said. “He’s seen both Ricky and Jordan grow up. It’s very much a family relationship, and he is a partner in Wayne Taylor Racing.”
According to Wayne Taylor, his sons are totally focused on racing, even though they are also college students. “At the end of the day, they live in the sport morning, noon and night,” he commented. “Having driven my whole career, and Shelly (Taylor) traveling the world with me, being able to own my own team, having them both compete with me, I don’t know how much better it can get that that.”
While the two brothers are highly competitive on the track, they get along well at home and they see no downside to racing against each other. Jordan said he plans to lean on Ricky for tips on how to interact with the team. “I know I need to be ready about two hours before I need to get into the car or dad will start yelling,” Jordan said.
Wayne Taylor Racing will have a slightly different look for the 2013 season, but they fully expect to be just as competitive as ever, and the entire organization is looking forward to the pre-season testing and their debut race in late January 2013. Win, lose or draw on the track, the Taylor family is a winning combination.