INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Mark Taylor will make a short return to his road-racing background this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indy Racing League rookie has agreed to compete in a pair of Porsche Michelin Supercup races during the...
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Mark Taylor will make a short return to his road-racing background this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indy Racing League rookie has agreed to compete in a pair of Porsche Michelin Supercup races during the weekend of the United States Grand Prix. He will pilot the No. 1 Porsche AG factory car, and utilize his road racing experience from British Formula 3, British Formula Ford, Formula Vauxhall Junior and years of go-karting.
"Right now I'm focused on the Milwaukee Open Test, but it will be a thrill to head back to Indianapolis Motor Speedway once we get back to Indiana," Taylor said. "Everybody at Panther Racing has been working so hard on the Menards/Johns Manville car, I'm honored that they've allowed me to take a short break during the Formula One weekend to participate in the Supercup. Being able to race again at the Speedway is going to be such a thrill, and I'm excited to do some laps on the road course. I'd just like to thank everybody at Menards and Johns Manville for allowing me to take part in the races."
The Porsche Supercup is part of the support schedule during the USGP weekend, and Taylor will compete in two 16-lap races on the 2.605-mile road course. The races are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (EST) this Saturday and 9:40 a.m. on Sunday. Taylor has competed in all five Indy Racing League events this season for Panther Racing, and is currently in second place in the 2004 Bombardier Rookie of the Year points standings. He qualified for the Indianapolis 500 last month in 14th, and finished in 30th after a accident with fellow rookie Ed Carpenter on Lap 63.
"Sam (Hornish) ran in the Porsche race a couple of years ago when he was driving for Panther Racing, so when they asked Mark, we were happy to let him race," Panther co-owner Doug Boles said. "There aren't a lot of drivers that have raced competitively on both the oval and the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so Mark is going to be included in some good company. We know it will be difficult for him to start turning left and right again, but he has a road racing background and the transition shouldn't be too difficult."
Hornish ran in the Porsche Michelin Supercup in 2001 while driving for Panther and finished 10th in the second race of the weekend. Hornish did not complete the first race due to a mechanical failure.
Taylor will join Patrick Long as the two Porsche factory drivers at the event. Panther Racing is testing at the Milwaukee Mile for the Milwaukee Open Test Wednesday and Thursday, and will return to action next weekend for the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 26th.