SBRS: Ricky and Jordan Taylor 2007 recap

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SBRS: Ricky and Jordan Taylor 2007 recap

Ricky and Jordan Taylor Both Experience Huge Success in Skip Barber Series in 2007 Apopka, Florida (October 15, 2007) -- Ricky and Jordan Taylor, sons of sports car racing champion Wayne Taylor, have raced in different ...

Ricky and Jordan Taylor Both Experience Huge Success in Skip Barber Series in 2007

Apopka, Florida (October 15, 2007) -- Ricky and Jordan Taylor, sons of sports car racing champion Wayne Taylor, have raced in different Skip Barber Racing Series this year, both with great success.

Ricky, an 18-year-old up-and-coming racer who won his first car racing championship six months ago in the 2006-2007 Skip Barber Southern Series, recently finished second in the championship of the competitive BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda Series. He collected two victories, at Sebring and Road America, five podiums and one fastest lap in the 14-race series. Additionally, Ricky's name goes in the history books, along with drivers like Scott Speed and Salvador Duran, as he joins four other drivers with the second most pole positions in a single season in the history of the Skip Barber National Series (Julio Campos, Salvador Duran, Raphael Matos, and Anthony Simone). Taylor clinched his fifth pole in the final race of the season at Virginia International Raceway on October 6th. Gerardo Bonilla leads the all-time pole chart in the Series' nine-year history with eight pole positions in a single season in 2005. Additionally, Taylor led the second most laps in 2007 with 36, bested only by champion Joel Miller, with 46.

"It started out on a real high with a win in Sebring. The next race at VIR was probably the low point of the season, where I had a crash on the last lap, which possibly lost me the championship right there," said Ricky, a high school senior in Orlando, Florida. "But later in the season, I got another win at Road America. All year I was always in the Top Five. I had three bad races, but otherwise finished on the podium almost every weekend. It definitely gave me extra confidence and the two wins at Road America and Sebring were definitely the high points for the season. I also enjoyed qualifying throughout the whole season. It was a lot of fun trying to put together the right stuff. I enjoyed that. Overall, I thought it was a good season, with a little bit of bad luck in between."

Jordan Taylor, the 16-year-old youngest son of Wayne Taylor, just wrapped up the championship in the Eastern Regional Championship of the Skip Barber Series this past weekend, when he collected back-to-back second-place finishes at Lime Rock Park in the two season finale races. The podiums helped catapult his lead to 22 points over second-place finisher Gabby Chavez in the final championship points chase. Jordan's successful season included four victories, 10 podiums, four pole positions and four fastest laps in the 12-race series.

"The beginning of the season went well. I was pushing, trying to get results. In the second half of the season I went for consistency, finishing on the podium and collecting points, which is what I did. Throughout the championship I tried to stay in the Top Five," said Jordan, who won the opportunity to race in the series by collecting the runner-up position in the 10th Annual Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout in January of 2007, netting himself a $25,000 racing scholarship for the season.

"In the beginning of the championship I had very little race car experience, so the whole season was a good learning opportunity," added Jordan, a high school junior from Apopka, Florida. "I also had a couple of races in the rain, which helped a lot. I also learned how to face problems, like if a car had a handling issues, how to drive around it. Another big thing is in the Eastern Series you get to race at all different kind of tracks around America, so I got to learn all the tracks. Racing so closely with the competitors was a big learning curve, especially with drafting in the races, which was a skill this Series really helped me learn."

"I'm really proud of both of the boys," said father Wayne Taylor, a two-time 24 Hours of Daytona winner. "They have worked hard this season to learn about racing -- not just on the track but also the behind-the-scenes things like sponsorship, nutrition and health and working with the business side of the sport. I have seen both Ricky and Jordan grow leaps and bounds through their racing with the Skip Barber Series this year. They have shown me they are serious about racing and I'm proud to assist them and support their efforts as they continue to grow their racing skills. We'll see where it goes from here."

Both of the young Taylor boys see both the positives and negatives of being a second-generation race car driver.

"It has both pros and cons," said the elder Ricky. "The pros are that I immediately have a name. People automatically know who I am without me having to do much. A con would be that people assume I just got to where I am because of my dad and that I'm just riding his coattails. I definitely like to establish myself as my own driver. It was nice being able to get my name out through the connection to my dad's name. It is both beneficial and has its cons."

"Being a second-generation driver is a lot of pressure on producing results," stated the younger Jordan. "But then there is also a lot of help from my dad about the races and everything that goes on during a weekend -- from the business side to the racing side of things. So there are pros and cons of being a second-generation driver, but I think more pros."

The two teenage race drivers, who got their start in go-karts, both look to step up for 2008. Ricky recently completed a test with Andersen Racing in both an F2000 car and a Star Mazda racer, hoping to climb up the racing ladder. Jordan aspires to either compete in the Skip Barber National Series, as his brother did this season, or move up in sports car racing to the Grand-Am Koni Challenge. Jordan recently competed in his first Koni Challenge race in an Acura TSX in the Street Tuner class at Virginia International Raceway earlier this month.

-credit: tr

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