Team is looking for its first Brickyard Grand Prix victory.
With all due respect to Jim Nabors, the Purdue University marching band, and their traditional rendition of the unofficial state song prior to each Indianapolis 500 from 1972 to this past May, co-drivers Ricky and Jordan Taylor and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Chevrolet Corvette Dallara Daytona Prototype team for Wayne Taylor Racing are happier than ever to be “Back Home Again in Indiana” for Friday’s third annual Brickyard Grand Prix.
The Taylor brothers and their Brownsburg, Indiana-based teammates take to the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course at the 104-year-old Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the two-hour, 45-minute Tudor United SportsCar Championship race feeling determined with the series points lead in-hand with three other teams all within 11 points of the top spot. And, they are bent on completing the thoroughly dominating run that ended with a disastrous 15th-place finish in last year’s Brickyard Grand Prix – a result not of their own doing.
After qualifying on the pole and leading a race-high 26 laps during his stellar, one-hour and 14-minute opening stint, Jordan Taylor handed the No. 10 Corvette DP over to the capable hands of veteran Italian co-driver Max “The Ax” Angelelli, who quickly maneuvered his way back into the lead and stayed there for another 12 tours of the Indy road circuit.
Allmendinger punts Angelelli
But, with 52 minutes remaining, the race-leading Angelelli was punted from behind by NASCAR and IndyCar Series regular A.J. Allmendinger. By the time he recovered, he was knocked well out of the top-10 and, with the race going caution-free from that point to the checkered flag, there would be no chance to make up much ground. Consequently, a component failure caused by the contact with Allmendinger led Angelelli to smack the turn-13 wall 10 laps from the finish, and he never returned to the race. The 15th-place finish dropped the team from first to fourth in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship, 19 points out of the lead. Fortunately, Taylor and Angelelli rebounded in a big way with three wins in the last four events to clinch the 2013 driver championship.
Podium finish two years ago
Two years ago, it was older brother Ricky Taylor who co-drove with Angelelli in the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix and brought home a hugely satisfying podium finish. Taylor drove a brilliant closing stint, passing Formula 1, NASCAR and IndyCar veteran Juan Pablo Montoya with 22 minutes to go for third place, then getting Ryan Dalziel for second moments later. But a valiant effort to grab the lead from Sebastian Bourdais on a restart with less than eight minutes to go went awry. Dalziel was able to slip past to regain second as a result of the move, and Taylor was able to close the deal on a solid podium finish of third.
Last year, Ricky Taylor co-drove the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP with Richard Westbrook to a sixth-place finish after qualifying ninth and leading five laps during his opening stint. Meanwhile, Jordan Taylor’s inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix outing in 2012 resulted in a top-10 GT-class finish after starting eighth in the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Camaro GT.R alongside former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Bill Lester.