Ricky and Jordan Taylor Celebrate Success in Skip Barber Southern Series at Sebring Sebring, Florida (February 18, 2007) -- Ricky and Jordan Taylor, sons of champion sports car racer Wayne Taylor, continue their racing success this winter in the...
Ricky and Jordan Taylor Celebrate Success in Skip Barber Southern Series at Sebring
Sebring, Florida (February 18, 2007) -- Ricky and Jordan Taylor, sons of champion sports car racer Wayne Taylor, continue their racing success this winter in the Skip Barber Southern Series. Both teenagers competed at Sebring International Raceway on February 17-18, 2007 in the Championship Class, although competing in different race groups.
The elder, 17-year-old Ricky, had another triple-crown weekend, earning the pole and winning both races on the double-header weekend. He continues to lead the Southern Series championship points chase with just two events, four races, remaining on the schedule.
"It was another good championship points weekend for me," said Ricky, a high school junior in Orlando, Florida. "This weekend we had a new piece, a hamper device, installed on the Skip Barber Mazda cars to help the cars draft better. That made drafting a big part of both races. Fortunately, it worked well with the strategy we used with a drafting partner."
Ricky started from the pole in Saturday's race after clocking a 2:26.185 qualifying time. In Race One, he led the first lap with the rest of the 14-car field staying close behind for the first few laps. On the fourth lap the balance of the field started battling with each other and Ricky was able to bring his car home to victory circle.
"Once everyone behind me started battling each other, they slowed down and got into a separate draft which allowed me to pull away," added the elder Taylor son. "I just tried not to make any mistakes and was able to lead the entire race."
In Race Two on Sunday, Ricky again started from the pole due to his first-place finish on Saturday. He approached second-place driver, Joseph Newgarden, who was also second fastest in qualifying, to be his drafting partner for the race.
"The second race was much more difficult than Saturday's," said Ricky, who has been busy studying for his SATs. "I suggested to Joseph that we shouldn't battle for the first five laps but just try to pull ahead of the field and get our own draft going. Once we managed to do that, we really battled, with him right on my tail. I managed to win, but only by about a second. It was a good championship points weekend and good practice for the upcoming Skip Barber National Race in March, held Friday of the 12 Hour of Sebring event."
This weekend was only Jordan Taylor's second car race after recently winning a $25,000 Skip Barber Scholarship. His first race at Homestead/Miami Raceway just over a month ago, also in the Skip Barber Southern Series. The 15-year-old freshman qualified sixth, following some gearbox problems, causing him to switch to a different car for the race.
"I had a bad first lap and fell back to eighth, but I worked my way back through the field to regain fourth," said Jordan. "On the last corner of the last lap, I passed two guys and finished second."
Saturday was Jordan's third podium finish in just three races. In the second race on Sunday, he started from second-place and fell back to fourth on the first lap. After battling and drafting with other drivers, he went back as far as eighth before finishing the race in fourth.
"After the top three pulled away in their own battle, I fell back a bit, because of other driver's trying to make position rather than make ground on the leaders. Finally I worked my way past a couple of cars and up to sixth place. I held the position for the majority of the race. The two leaders ended up crashing out and I got a run going for the top three on the last lap, but was only able to finish fourth. I'm pretty happy with my results this weekend. I learned a lot about race craft and patience with all the drafting that affected the race result."
The Taylor boys will both race next at Moroso Raceway and the finale will be at Daytona International Speedway in the winter version of the Skip Barber Southern Series. Ricky will then go on to compete in the Skip Barber National Series and Jordan will compete in the Skip Barber Eastern Series in the spring.
Their father, 2005 Grand-Am Driver Champion Wayne Taylor, was fortunate to be able to be at Sebring this weekend with his sons since he didn't have a competing race with his Wayne Taylor Racing team, the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley.
"'I'm real happy with the progress of the boys," said Wayne Taylor, who along with his teammates Max Angelelli, Jan Magnussen and Jeff Gordon, recently finished third in the 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona.. "Jordan is doing great for just his second race weekend. To be on the podium both race weekends is amazing, especially considering his limited experience. Ricky continues to mature in his driving and I'm excited he's leading the points championship."