Ricky Taylor Has Triple Crown Weekend at Road Atlanta
Braselton, Georgia (November 20, 2006) -- Ricky Taylor, son of four-time racing champion Wayne Taylor, had a champion-style weekend of his own at Road Atlanta on November 18-19. The 16-year-old competed in the Skip Barber Southern Series, collecting the pole, winning not one, but two races, and setting a new track record, a true triple crown weekend.
The younger Taylor has had some recent driving experience at Road Atlanta. He competed in September in the Star Mazda Pro Series with the Velocity Star Mazda team and qualified sixth in his first-ever Star Mazda race and first time at Road Atlanta. Unfortunately a blown engine took him out just two laps from the finish while he was in the Top Ten. Recently both Ricky and his younger brother, Jordan, tested an IMSA Lights car at the renowned 2.54-mile North Georgia sports car circuit.
After winning the pole on Saturday, Ricky lost his position in Turn One when he was passed on the outside. He and two other drivers drafted back and forth between first, second and third places until Lap Five, when Taylor regained the lead and managed to pull away. The 15-lap race featured 15 competitors.
His Saturday race win enabled him to start from the pole again on Sunday. Again, he lost his premier position on the first lap, but fought it back on Lap Two and again pulled away to victory, setting a new track record.
"I am really happy with the results this weekend at Road Atlanta," said Ricky, a sophomore high school student at Lake Highland in Orlando, Florida. "The extra track time I've had at Road Atlanta recently helped me get up to speed quickly."
"Obviously I'm very proud of him," said Wayne Taylor, who won the inaugural Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta. "To get the pole, a win and a track record...you can't do more than that in racing. This is an important time in his career as we decide which way he'll go. Skip Barber is a good stepping-stone to either go single-seaters or over to sports cars. At the moment the focus is on the Skip Barber Southern Series before we decide what he and Jordan will be doing next year."
Ricky, who just began competing in cars this year, has advanced through the ranks of go-karting for the past five years. He has previously raced in the Skip Barber Southern Series, which features identical 2.0-liter Dodge R/T 2000 cars, and won a 4-event racing scholarship through the Skip Barber Scholarship Shootout. With the scholarship award, Ricky was able to professionally race the same weekend as his father at the historic Virginia International Raceway this past April, a first for them both.
"The Skip Barber races are a lot of fun," added the younger Taylor. "You race so close because the cars draft so well. It's hard to pull a gap so everyone is really close. It's just a lot of fun. The instructors always help. No matter how much track time you have, you always learn something. The mechanics also work really hard to keep the cars well-prepared and equal."
Wayne Taylor has his plate full managing his own Wayne Taylor Racing program with the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley in the Grand American Sports Car Series. He also manages both Ricky and Jordan's blossoming racing careers. The younger 15-year-old Jordan will be leaving next Sunday to compete in the famous 500 Milhas Granjha Viana Go-Karting Race in Brazil on November 26th. The big endurance event, which starts at 12 midnight and runs until 12 noon features numerous famous, current and past Formula One drivers and other racing stars such as Rubens Barrichello, Filipe Massa, Emerson Fittipaldi, Dan Wheldon, Tony Kanaan and Oswaldo Negri, to name a few, competing in two- to five-person race teams for 12 hours.
The next Skip Barber Southern Series race will be held December 16-17 at Sebring International Raceway.
-credit: burns group