Suntrust Racing's Ironman Taylor to make Rolex 24 at Daytona his 24th enduro. Daytona Beach, Fla. (January 22, 2004) When Wayne Taylor takes the green flag for the start of the 2004 Rolex 24 at Daytona, he will be making his 24th start in a ...
Suntrust Racing's Ironman Taylor to make Rolex 24 at Daytona his 24th enduro.
Daytona Beach, Fla. (January 22, 2004) When Wayne Taylor takes the green flag for the start of the 2004 Rolex 24 at Daytona, he will be making his 24th start in a 24-hour road race. While there may be one or two other drivers with more starts in twice round-the-clock enduros, there is arguably no other driver who more passionately relishes testing himself, his team, his race car and his organizational skills as much as SunTrust Racing Team's Wayne Taylor.
Certainly, drivers like Hurley Haywood and Andy Wallace and a number of others seem to take famously to the 24-hour race format, but Taylor appears unique in his "iron-man" characteristics of being the motivating force; taking an idea from the dream stage to the checkered flag. The creation of SunTrust Racing is a perfect example.
"Wayne presented us with a very persuasive business model for involvement in motorsport," says SunTrust Bank's Sr. VP of Marketing Services, John Mauney. "We were particularly impressed with Wayne's credentials as a driver and expert in the art of team-building as well as his experience in promoting the interests of corporate sponsors and manufacturers," concludes Mauney.
Taylor's partnerships with both Bill Riley of Riley Technologies and with General Motors' motorsport organization provided the basis for a program in the Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex Series.
The Taylor-Riley combination had already produced many successes over the years. Then, last season, Riley designed an exciting new race car for Am-Am specifications and asked Wayne to consider running one. Of course, all of this would seem just like an ordinary motorsport "deal" except for the fact that it came together in a matter of months and that Taylor is at once; car owner, commercial director, race driver and development driver.
"At first glance it might seem scary to be facing the debut of such a huge program just months after the ink dried on the chassis design," says Taylor. "I must say however that I believe we have as good a chance as any of the teams that have a year's experience in the Daytona Prototypes. That's because we collectively have an incredible amount of knowledge in all the areas that make for success over the long haul. My first 24-hour race was at Le Mans in 1987. This year's Rolex will be my 24th start in such a race, so I more or less have the hang of it, as do my co-drivers Max Angelelli and Emmanuel Collard. Bill Riley and his boys all have a ton of long-distance experience as we'll, including both Daytona and Le Mans. So, while it looks like SunTrust Racing is a brand new team in Grand-Am it's really a seriously seasoned effort."
In addition to sheer experience, Taylor comes to Daytona with a winning record. He was victorious here at the 1996 Rolex 24 driving a Riley. In 1999 he and Max Angelelli led the Rolex for some ten hours until gearbox troubles set them back to second at the finish. Wayne also returns to Grand-Am having won World Sportscar Championships in 1994 and 1996 and winning the prototype category at Le Mans in 1998.
Taylor's principal sponsor, SunTrust Banks, Inc., is one of the nation's largest and strongest financial holding companies. With $125.4 billion in assets and total deposits of $81.2 billion as of December 31, 2003, SunTrust's 1,200 retail branches and 2,229 ATM's are located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
<pre> 24-Hour Enduros
Taylor's 24s Year RaceCar 1987 Le Mans Porsche 962 1988 Daytona ADA-Cosworth Le Mans Tiga-Porsche 1989 Le Mans Spice-Cosworth 1990 Le Mans Spice-Cosworth 1991 Le Mans Porsche 962 1992 Daytona Spice-Chevy Le Mans Porsche 962 1993 Chevy-Chevy Le Mans BRM 1994 Daytona Mazda-Kudzu 1995 Daytona Ferrari 333SP 1996 Daytona R&S-Olds Le Mans R&S-Olds 1997 Daytona R&S-Olds Le Man Nissan 1998 Daytona Ferrari 333SP Le Man Ferrari 333SP 1999 Daytona Ferrari 333SP 2000 Daytona Cadillac Le Man Cadillac 2001 Le Man Cadillac 2002 Le Man Cadillac