Jordan Taylor expects “toughest Rolex 24 in recent memory”

Wayne Taylor Racing’s Jordan Taylor, defending winner at the Rolex 24 hours at Daytona, believes that within the Prototype class, 75 percent are potential race winners.

Jordan Taylor expects “toughest Rolex 24 in recent memory”
Jordan Taylor, Wayne Taylor Racing
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi, P: Renger van der Zande, Jordan Taylor, Ryan Hunter-Reay
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi, P: Renger van der Zande, Jordan Taylor, Ryan Hunter-Reay, #99 JDC/Miller Motorsports ORECA 07, P: Stephen Simpson, Mikhail Goikhberg, Chris Miller, Gustavo Menezes, #31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi, P, P: Eric Curran, Mike Conway, Stuart Middleton, Felipe Nasr, #85 JDC/Miller Motorsports ORECA 07, P: Simon Trummer, Robert Alon, Austin Cindric, Devlin DeFrancesco
#90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Cadillac DPi: Tristan Vautier, Matt McMurry, Eddie Cheever III
#90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Cadillac DPi, P: Tristan Vautier,
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi: Jordan Taylor
#90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Cadillac DPi: Tristan Vautier, Matt McMurry, Eddie Cheever III
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi: Renger van der Zande, Jordan Taylor, Ryan Hunter-Reay
#31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi, P, P: Eric Curran, Mike Conway, Stuart Middleton, Felipe Nasr
#5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi, P: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque

Following brother Ricky’s departure to the Penske-Acura squad, WTR will run Renger van der Zande fulltime with Jordan Taylor in the #10 Cadillac DPi-V.R, and will be joined at this weekend’s Rolex 24 by 2012 IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay.

However, Taylor says that the 20-strong field of prototypes for Daytona will offer a bigger challenge than he can ever recall for this event.

"I think it's going to be the toughest Rolex 24 we've seen in recent memory," he commented. "Every year we come back to Daytona, it seems like 75 percent of the grid could win the race. That was with 10-15 cars. Now we have 20 cars in our class.

“Everyone in the class is now world class, from teams to drivers. It's going to be tougher than ever, but we wouldn't want it any other way.

"I am confident in our chances. We have a lot of carryover from last year. We come in with Renger as our only new piece, but I think he fits in really well. We have a Cadillac racecar that is proven in speed and reliability, and a team that has proven to execute when it counts.

"The extra competition definitely makes everyone raise their game. Of course, we all felt like we've been pushing ourselves in the past to do our best, but with all these new drivers and teams coming in this year, we really need to focus on every little detail to find every hundredth of a second. I think each driver has to work on themselves to make sure they are maximizing their effort, just as the crew and engineers focus on getting everything out of the car."

The 3.56-mile roval at Daytona will feature three other Cadillacs – two from Action Express Racing, and one from Spirit of Daytona, which last year, under the Visit Florida Racing banner, ran a Riley-Gibson for van der Zande and Marc Goossens, before later in the year switching to a Ligier chassis.

Along with the reversion to the team’s original name and new car has come a new driver lineup in Tristan Vautier and Matt McMurry, who for Daytona will be partnered by Eddie Cheever III.

Said former Indy Lights champion Vautier: “Our pace was good at the Roar [Before the 24 test], and I think it was a strong statement by the team. Receiving the car in December, getting it on the ground only a week before the Roar, and to come and show how strong we are was great. Everyone in the Cadillac camp pushed hard and I gave it my all in the [pre]qualifying session.

"The team has been operating really well and the car has no real issue, so we need to keep it that way for the race. It is not like it used to be, just to keep the car safe. Now it is a full sprint for 24 hours. It is like 12 Long Beach races.

"We get along really well as a team. Matt and Eddie have been fast in the car and have been getting up to speed nicely. We have good chemistry which is what you need in endurance racing."

shares
comments
Top 10: F1 stars who’ve won the Daytona 24 Hours

Previous article

Top 10: F1 stars who’ve won the Daytona 24 Hours

Next article

Mazda Team Joest optimistic ahead of Rolex 24

Mazda Team Joest optimistic ahead of Rolex 24
Load comments
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020
Tony Kanaan’s top 10 races – in his own words Prime

Tony Kanaan’s top 10 races – in his own words

The 2004 IndyCar champion and 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan probably hasn’t yet driven his final IndyCar race, but we still asked him for the 10 most significant races of his career. He explained his choices to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Sep 7, 2020