Taylor: “Lots of questions” ahead of latest Rolex 24 bid

Wayne Taylor admits his team heads into the Rolex 24 at Daytona with a lot of unknowns, but has total belief in his driver line-up and the quality of the Acura.

Taylor: “Lots of questions” ahead of latest Rolex 24 bid
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As the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship embarks on a new era of Prototype racing with the hybrid LMDh cars, there are question marks around the GTP class’s spec parts, common to all four of the manufacturers.

But Wayne Taylor, who has won the Rolex 24 once as a driver, once as a driver/owner and four times as a pure team owner, says that everything within his squad’s power has been considered.

“I’m happy the guys have done a great job getting us here,” said Taylor. “HPD, Acura, Oreca and all of our partners have done a great job getting the car ready.

“This will be the first race for our new partnership with Andretti Autosport. Both MSR [Meyer Shank Racing, the other Acura team] and ourselves are competitive.

“The whole grid is competitive really. It’s going to come down to strategy and reliability.

“Many things are out of our hands, but we are going to control what we can control. There are new tires, and a smaller allotment of tires this year so that will play a big role.

“There’s going to be lots of questions, but I believe that we have the best driver lineup and the best partners. I can’t wait for the race.”

This year sees 2017 and 2020 IMSA champion and 2017 and ’21 Rolex 24 winner Ricky Taylor joined by Filipe Albuquerque for a third straight year and they will be accompanied in the Rolex 24 by Louis Deletraz and Brendon Hartley.

Taylor, who qualified third for this weekend’s race, said: “The WTR Andretti team has been really working well this. Brendon, Louis, Filipe and I are all getting along – spending time together at the track and away.

“We are confident in the car and proud of all the development work by our No. 10 Konica Minolta crew, HPD, Acura and Oreca. All that is left is some preparation for the race through practice and we should be one of the cars to beat.”

Three-time and reigning WEC champion and three-time Le Mans winner Hartley described the drivers as “happy with the balance of the car”, while Deletraz, the two-time and reigning European Le Mans Series champion, described the car as “fantastic.”

As for Albuquerque, he said of the ARX-06: “This new car is so enjoyable to drive, I just want to drive more and more and more, so I can’t wait for the race weekend to get underway.”

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