Jordan Taylor Wins Road America Skip Barber Race
Apopka, Florida (July 2, 2007) -- Jordan Taylor, youngest son of sports car champion Wayne Taylor, collected his first Skip Barber Eastern Series victory this past weekend at the historic Road America race circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Jordan, who turned 16-years-old last month just started racing cars at the end of last year after racing go-karts since he was ten years old. He was runner-up in the 10th Annual Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout in January of 2007, netting himself a $25,000 racing scholarship this season.
The younger Taylor started the first of two races by qualifying fifth on Saturday, June 30th.
"Fifth was a pretty good start for me because I qualified without using the draft and the draft is worth a second or two at Road America," said Jordan, who recently completed his sophomore year in high school in Orlando, Florida. "I had a bad start in the race and fell back to eighth. I slowly worked my way through the traffic, since they were a bit slower than me. I got up to fifth place and was passing for fourth but made a mistake and locked up the rear wheels and went wide. I fell back to sixth and lost the draft. Then I wasn't really able to compete for positions in the front and ended up sixth."
The Skip Barber Series grids the starting order of the second race from the finishing positions in Race 1, so Jordan started from the third row, position six in Sunday's race.
"I had a better start in the second race," said the younger brother of Skip Barber racer Ricky Taylor. "I got up to fifth and was running in either fifth or sixth for the first few laps. Then there was a crash in the 'Kink', which brought out the red flag and the race was stopped for about 10 minutes. When the race restarted, two guys in front of me were black-flagged for car contact. It was just Revere Greist and I racing against one another for the win. He's an experienced guy who has been racing with Skip Barber for about ten years. The two of us battled for the lead. On the last lap, he passed me going into Turn 1. Then I passed him back going into the 'Canada Corner' and onto the front straight for the last lap when he pulled up next to me. I beat him by just four-thousandths of a second."
Taylor was one of 17 drivers in the Eastern Championship class in Saturday's race and one of 15 in Sunday's event. Racers drive identical Skip Barber Formula 2000 wings-and-slicks race cars, rotating between different cars during the two-day race event.
"The most challenging part of the race was learning about the whole draft situation with the new wings on the cars and trying to use the draft in qualifying to get a good lap," said the younger Taylor. "In the race, it was challenging to learn about race craft and when to make passes. Competing with Revere, I learned a lot, especially about drafting and when to use it, which was a big help."
"Road America is one of the nicer tracks I've ever been to," said Jordan, who will compete on all new circuits in the Skip Barber Eastern Series this season. "It's really fast. I like all the quick corners like the 'Carousel' and the 'Kink'. My Dad was able to give me some tips about each corner and what to expect. He also told me about where I need to be quick, where to be focused on for the race, such as coming out of the 'Carousel' to get a good run on the straights."
"This is Jordan's first professional win and I'm very proud of the job he did this weekend, especially on a difficult circuit like Road America for the first time," said 2005 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Champion and proud father Wayne Taylor. "He learns more every time he races and this has been a good series for him to get some experience. Getting that first win is a good feeling for any driver. Now he has that behind him and can continue to focus on improving his racing skills."
The next event will be Round 3 of 6 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT on July 13-14.